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Police fatally shoot man who hit North Las Vegas officer with truck

Updated October 31, 2018 - 5:46 pm

Two North Las Vegas police officers fatally shot a man who struck an officer with his pickup truck Wednesday morning, police said.

The officers shot the pickup driver after noticing a blue, four-door truck stopped near Statz Street and Emmons Avenue and attempting to speak with him, North Las Vegas police spokesman Eric Leavitt said.

Police detained the vehicle and gave the driver commands, which he ignored, Leavitt said. The man, who was not armed, then drove the pickup toward the officers.

“They gave him further commands — stop, or they’ll shoot — and it did not,” Leavitt said.

The pickup hit an officer and caused a knee injury. Police then fired several rounds into the pickup, Leavitt said. The man behind the wheel died at the scene.

It remained unclear why the two officers detained the pickup and tried to speak with the driver. Police were speaking with witnesses and were looking for video in the area.

The officers were not part of the Police Department’s body-worn camera pilot program, and were not wearing body cameras, Leavitt said.

The pickup wasn’t stolen, and the man wasn’t known to police, Leavitt said.

Nearby Tom Williams Elementary school was temporarily on a hard lockdown Wednesday morning while police investigated, Clark County School District police Capt. Roberto Morales said.

“Just because we didn’t know what we had,” Leavitt added.

One man, who would only identify himself as Travis, said he arrived on the scene just after the shooting, and said he counted seven apparent bullet holes in the pickup’s windshield. The man said he had heard the gunshots while walking to donate plasma in the area.

“When I come down the street, I saw the aftermath,” he said.

Travis stood near Statz and Hickey Avenue about 2 p.m. Wednesday, just one street south of the scene. He pulled out his cellphone and showed a reporter a video he took of first responders arriving at the scene immediately after the shooting.

While he did, two North Las Vegas officers walked over and asked to see the video. Travis showed them the video, and they then returned to the scene.

Susana Taylor, 51, who works at the military supply shop across the street from the neighborhood, saw ambulances arrive and thought someone might’ve suffered a heart attack or something comparable. Then she saw “tons” of police officers arrive and begin to shut down the surrounding area, she said.

“So I knew it had to have been more than just a health emergency,” Taylor said.

They arrived within seconds of her showing up to work about 10:45 a.m., she said.

The Clark County coroner’s office will release the deceased man’s identity after his family is notified.

Crime scene investigators, internal affairs and detectives were on the scene Wednesday afternoon, police said. Metro assisted North Las Vegas at the scene.

The shooting marked the North Las Vegas Police Department’s second police shooting of the year and its first fatal shooting.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Rio Lacanlale contributed to this report.

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