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Prosecutors drop murder charge after fatal police shooting

Updated February 18, 2022 - 4:34 pm

Prosecutors have dropped a murder charge against Wattsel Rembert, whom Las Vegas police were searching for when they shot and killed a different man in January.

Rembert, 23, was arrested Jan. 12 and later charged with one count of murder with a deadly weapon, but the case was dropped within two weeks, according to online Las Vegas Justice Court records.

On Jan. 20, Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum authorized Rembert’s release “on this case based on information provided by the State,” court records show. Prosecutors did not return a request for comment.

“The charges were dismissed because, at this point, there is not enough evidence to hold him for trial,” the Metropolitan Police Department said Thursday in an emailed statement. “He was originally arrested as a result of a family member identifying him as the suspect however we are still gathering additional evidence and the case remains ongoing.”

Rembert initially was accused of murder in the death of Nicolas Thomas, 30, who was fatally shot in November at a bus stop at Nellis Boulevard and Boulder Highway, Metro has said. While searching for Rembert, police shot and killed a man as SWAT served a search warrant Jan. 10 at an apartment on the 3000 block of South Nellis Boulevard, police have said.

After five officers broke down the apartment door, a man on the couch opened fire. Officers Kerry Kubla, 50, and Brice Clements, 36, were shot and injured.

The officers fired 23 shots at 19-year-old Isaiah Tyree Williams of Las Vegas, who died at the scene.

In a separate case, Rembert faces 16 gross misdemeanor counts of discharging a gun where another person might be endangered, one gross misdemeanor count of injuring or tampering with a vehicle, and two felony counts of discharging a gun into an occupied structure or vehicle, court records show. He was charged in that case on Jan. 19.

Rembert’s defense attorney in the second case, Clark Patrick, refused to comment when contacted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

According to Rembert’s arrest report in the now-dismissed murder case, Thomas was shot Nov. 18 and ran into Sam’s Town, at 5111 Boulder Highway, to report that he had been injured. He died shortly after at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

Officers said Thomas was sitting at the bus stop at about 3 a.m. Video surveillance showed an SUV near the bus stop that appeared to be waiting as two people stepped out and approached Thomas.

“Without any apparent provocation,” Thomas was shot by one of the men who both ran back to the SUV, which fled the scene, according to the arrest report for Rembert.

According to the arrest report, a woman reached out to police after the shooting and identified one of the men in the surveillance footage as her stepson, Rembert.

In the same arrest report, police said that on Dec. 18, Rembert fired several shots at a vehicle in an apartment complex, striking two nearby apartments and hitting the vehicle 14 times. The victim whose car had been struck told police she believed the shooting had to do with her car being hit by the suspect’s car a few days before, the report said.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer David Wilson contributed to this report.

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