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Man killed by police Monday in hostage situation identified

The man shot and killed by Las Vegas police during a hostage situation Monday was identified as Benjamin Hunter Bowman.

The 22-year-old died from multiple gunshot wounds suffered in the confrontation inside PT’s Pub at Nellis Boulevard and Sahara Avenue.

Officers responded to the bar about 10:30 a.m. for a robbery call. They found Bowman holding a female bartender hostage with a knife to her throat, police said.

Bowman refused to drop the knife and said he was going to kill the woman. As he began to move the knife to stab her, she was able to free herself slightly, and three officers fired, police said.

Bowman died at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

His arrest record includes an incident in April 2008 in which he pointed a handgun at someone in a dispute over beer.

A group was partying in a garage at a Henderson apartment complex when Bowman walked in and asked for a beer. The apartment renter obliged, and Bowman left, only to return about 30 minutes later asking for another beer, according to an arrest report.

When the renter refused, the report said, Bowman pulled out a black handgun and said, “Are you trying to disrespect the Wood?” The Wood is a Las Vegas gang.

Bowman left with only a single Coors Light, the report said.

Police were called and found the handgun in the neighboring apartment Bowman shared with his father. Bowman was arrested for robbery with a deadly weapon and later charged with pointing a gun at someone. He was sentenced to three years of probation.

The three officers who shot Bowman were Michael Franco, 26, Phillip Zaragoza, 39, and Peter Kruse, 29.

Kruse was one of five officers who shot and killed a man outside a convenience store in 2006. The man, 43-year-old Shawn Jacob Collins, was a domestic violence suspect who pulled out a gun in front of the officers. A coroner’s inquest jury unanimously ruled the shooting justified.

Monday’s shooting at PT’s Pub was the second in less than five hours for Las Vegas police.

Earlier, officer Sean Miller, 36, shot 32-year-old Anthony Brenes after multiple shots from a Taser stun gun and bean bag shotgun failed to stop him from attacking officers with a wooden walking stick outside a convenience store.

The officers were put on routine paid administrative leave pending a coroner’s inquest and a policy review by the agency’s use of force board.

Review-Journal reporter Lawrence Mower contributed to this report. Contact reporter Brian Haynes at bhaynes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0281.

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