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5 officers ID’d in shootout with murder, carjacking suspect

Updated December 29, 2023 - 6:58 pm

Las Vegas police Friday identified two police officers and three Nevada Highway Patrol troopers who shot at a murder and carjacking suspect Wednesday morning.

The Clark County coroner’s office also identified the alleged killer and his victims.

Metropolitan Police Department officers Jacob Mekeel and Timothy Brooks and highway patrol troopers Martin Moran, Danny Kincaid and Luis Villanueva were in a shootout with Justin Davidson, 36, near Blue Diamond Road and Durango Drive.

At around 3:45 a.m., officers responded to an illegal shooting call at Placid Street and Maulding Avenue.

Metro Assistant Sheriff Yasenia Yatomi said at a press briefing Friday afternoon that Davidson’s parents woke up at Wednesday from the sounds of gunshots coming from the desert wash area behind their house, and drove from their house to the wash to find their son.

Davidson started to shoot at his parents as they walked up, and he killed his mother, Liza Leveille-Davidson, 58.

Police arrived as Davidson’s father tried to get away, and the son shot at the officers, forcing them to take cover behind their patrol vehicles, according to Yatomi. Davidson then stole a police vehicle and led officers on a pursuit that included multiple carjackings.

Davidson stole two different vehicles at separate gas stations, with none of the occupants getting hurt in either case. Mekeel shot and struck Davidson during the second carjacking, because officers later found blood in the SUV in which Davidson had escaped, Yatomi said.

In Davidson’s last carjacking, he killed a 39-year-old father of seven. He was identified as Gerardo Lopez-Martinez, 39. As he tried to drive away after killing Lopez-Martinez, Brooks and the three highway patrol officers opened fire and shot Davidson several times, according to Yatomi and footage shown Friday.

The pursuit ended at Durango Drive and Agate Avenue where Davidson was found dead in a van. Lopez-Martinez died from gunshot wounds and blunt injuries to his head, the coroner’s office said.

Yatomi said Davidson had two rifles, and one of them was stolen from a Las Vegas gun show last May.

Officers found several loaded magazines and a notebook that had a hand-drawn diagram for a potential ambush when they searched the wash area the first shooting happened in on Thursday, according to Yatomi.

Police also searched Davidson’s homes in Las Vegas and Henderson. Yatomi said they found multiple guns, tactical vests, trail cameras, tactical helmets, notebooks, military manuals, materials to make improved suppressors and documents about police responses to mass shootings, according to Yatomi.

Mekeel, 27, and Brooks, 47, have been with the Metropolitan Police Department since 2018. They both are assigned to the West Community Policing Division in Enterprise.

Moran, 31, has been with Nevada Highway Patrol since 2019.

In August, Moran shot at a man who fired at him during a traffic stop near Mountains Edge Parkway and Rainbow Drive. No determination has been made on the August shooting.

Kincaid, 30, has been with highway patrol since 2023 and Villanueva, 30, since 2017.

The Clark County coroner’s office has yet to identify any of the people killed Wednesday.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Contact Mark Credico at mcredico@reviewjournal.com.

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