Las Vegas officers who fatally shot suspected DUI motorist ID’d

Two Las Vegas officers who fired their weapons Wednesday during a deadly encounter with a DUI suspect have been identified.

They are tourist safety and traffic division officers Kenneth Pilette, 52, and Chad Betts, 43, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. Pilette has been with Metro since July 1998 and Betts since October 1999.

The exchange of gunfire occurred after a man, identified Friday by the Clark County coroner’s office as 21-year-old Kenneth Ryan Busse Jr., crashed his vehicle about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday near South Rainbow Boulevard and Gary Avenue, close to Blue Diamond Road. Witnesses would later tell detectives that Busse hid an object — later determined to be a gun — in a bush near the roadway before officers arrived, police said at the time.

During the investigation into the crash, Busse refused to take a field sobriety test after appearing to be under the influence. Instead, police said, he ran from officers into an adjacent desert area, picked up the gun and fired at least one shot toward police.

Pilette and Betts fired back and hit Busse, who died at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds. His death has been ruled a homicide by the county coroner.

Clark County court records indicate that Busse did not have a local criminal history.

Another person was hospitalized with injuries unrelated to the crash, but police have not said what caused that person’s injuries.

Per department protocol, Metro will release body-worn camera footage and provide further details within 72 hours of the shooting.

Per Metro protocol, the officers have been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation into their deadly use-of-force. The officer-involved shooting was the 20th investigated by Metro this year. Ten of those were fatal, according to records maintained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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