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Ax-wielding man killed by officer was mentally ill, Las Vegas police say

The man who was shot and killed Saturday by a Las Vegas police officer had a history of mental illness and violent tendencies, a Metropolitan Police Department official said Wednesday.

Undersheriff Kevin McMahill briefed reporters Wednesday on the agency’s second fatal shooting this year.

Police responded just after 11 p.m. Saturday to a house on the 5200 block of Shreve Avenue, near Lake Mead and Nellis boulevards. A security guard called the police about a man acting erratically and attacking him with a shovel.

The officers repeatedly ordered the man to drop his weapons, described as a pick ax and a smaller hand ax. The man refused and threw the smaller tool at one of the officers.

One officer struck the suspect with two beanbag rounds, but the rounds had “very little effect,” McMahill said.

Then the man turned and threw the pickax at another officer, at which point officer Matthew Terry, 25, fired 13 rounds at the suspect, striking him nine times.

Police showed footage of the incident from two officers’ body cameras.

Steven Allen Price, 62, a Vietnam-era Air Force veteran, died at the scene.

Terry has worked for the department since February 2014 and is assigned to Metro’s community policing division. He has been placed on paid leave while police investigate the shooting.

McMahill could not provide details about Price’s mental health history at Wednesday’s briefing.

Records show that Price was arrested in December on suspicion of punching his ex-wife in the face.

When police responded, Price tried to punch an officer in the face. When his punch missed, he was taken to the ground and arrested. He told officers he was going to kill them and sue them, records show.

Price’s ex-wife told police he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was not taking his medication at the time of the arrest, records show. Price later was convicted of domestic battery.

Contact Wesley Juhl at wjuhl@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0391. Follow @WesJuhl on Twitter.

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