A 26-year-old shot and killed by Las Vegas police on Saturday told his parents he would “die tonight” shortly before he pointed a gun at officers.
Patrick Heki made several threatening and suicidal statements before police arrived at his parent’s southeast valley home about 2 a.m.
Those statements were heard by emergency dispatchers listening to the call, Undersheriff Jim Dixon said during a press briefing Thursday. Heki’s mother, Julie Unger, had called 911 from her cellphone and left the phone on table so dispatchers could hear her desperate conversation with her son.
“Don’t move or I will shoot you,” Heki told his parents, according to police.
“Put it down. It’s not worth it,” his mother said.
“Don’t come closer. I love you guys.”
Unger later whispered her family’s apartment number into the phone.
Responding officers saw Heki through an apartment window. He was wearing a camouflage jacket and carried a .40 caliber Glock pistol in his hands. He also carried two rifles, one slung over each shoulder, Dixon said.
“It’s a good night to start killing,” Heki said, according to the police dispatchers. “I am going on a killing spree.”
Officers Paul Kunz, 28, Justin Marzec, 29, and Joshua Giese, 28, didn’t hear the 911 call. But they heard gunshots from the apartment at 3950 S. Mountain Vista St. almost immediately after arriving and they quickly took cover.
Heki emerged moments later. Kunz ordered Heki to drop the weapons, but Heki pointed the handgun at him. Kunz, Marzec and Giese fired “simultaneously,” Dixon said.
The police account differs from the story Heki’s father told the Review-Journal hours after Heki’s death.
Dan Unger told the Review-Journal his son obeyed police, slowly crouched down and placed the pistol on the sidewalk with both of his hands in clear view.
Dixon said Heki never went to the ground until after the shooting. Heki was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where he died less than an hour later.
Heki fired at least three shots, although he never fired at police. One of Heki’s shots lodged in a neighboring apartment. No one was hurt.
Dixon said the shooting is being reviewed by the department’s Critical Incident Review process. The Clark County District Attorney’s office is also reviewing the shooting for any possible criminal charges.
Heki did not have a criminal record and purchased the handgun legally, Dixon said. The rifles were owned by Heki’s father.
Dixon said officers receive extensive training to deal with distraught citizens and the mentally ill, but Heki never gave police a chance to “start a dialogue,” he said.
“(An officer) goes into that mode where you’re going to be protecting yourself and others,” Dixon said. “The last thing we want to use is deadly force.”