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Las Vegas officer kills man who fired at police

A motorist shot by a Las Vegas police officer after firing a handgun at him and his partner died late Tuesday.

Police spokesman Jacinto Rivera said the two-person patrol unit did a low-speed “pit maneuver” to stop a car speeding west on Flamingo Road near Swenson Street just after 8 p.m.

Under such a maneuver, a police car clips a rear corner of a fleeing vehicle to force it into a sideways skid, ultimately stopping it.

Police Capt. Patrick Neville said the car was weaving and would not stop when officers tried to pull it over.

“The officers became concerned it (the car) was going to get to the Strip,” Neville said, explaining why the pit maneuver was used.

The chase ended in front of a Speedee Mart just east of Swenson when the driver stopped, got out of the vehicle, which was pinned against the police car, and fired once at the officers, police said.

He ran a short distance, turned around and shot at them a second time, they said.

One officer returned fire, striking the man several times, police said.

Neville said there was no apparent motive for why the driver refused to stop and shot at police.

Rivera said the man was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where he later died from his wounds.

Noting that the shooting was in its early stage of investigation, Neville said, “we have plenty of witnesses who came forward and wanted to speak to us. We have a lot more work to do on this case.”

Neville said that as of 10:40 p.m., police had not identified the man, who was in his 30s.

The officers were not injured.

Another car was struck with gunfire, Neville said, adding that police were trying to figure out whether bullets that hit the car came from the man or the officer.

Tuesday’s incident was the ninth officer involved shooting of the year for the Metropolitan Police Department, which serves the city of Las Vegas and unincorporated areas of Clark County. The department was involved in 27 such shootings in 2010, according to Homicide Lt. Lew Roberts.

The most recent deadly officer involved shooting occurred April 12 when Abdul Hamlan, 52, was shot and killed by police in the garage of his northwest valley home by a Las Vegas police officer after reportedly pointing a handgun at the officer.

Contact reporter Antonio Planas at aplanas@review
journal.com or 702-383-4638.

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