August 7, 2017 - 12:19 pm
Updated August 7, 2017 - 2:06 pm
The Las Vegas police officer who shot a naked man in a church parking lot over the weekend was involved in a controversial in-custody death that prompted department reforms seven years ago.
Metropolitan Police Department officer Mark Hatten, 42, a 10-year veteran of the force, has been placed on routine paid leave following the Saturday morning shooting near Warm Springs Road and Eastern Avenue.
Metro responded about 11 a.m. to reports of a naked man with a handgun who was threatening to kill himself in the parking lot of the Life Springs Christian Church, at 2075 E. Warm Springs Road.
Jason Funke, 25, initially complied with police requests, putting the weapon on the ground and approaching officers, but he ran back toward the gun when a police dog was sent after him, police said.
Hatten then shot the man once, police said. No officers were injured.
Funke was booked Saturday into the Clark County Detention Center on charges of possession of a dangerous weapon on school or child-care property and indecent exposure. No information on his medical condition was available on Monday.
Hatten, who has been with Metro since January 2007, is assigned to the community policing division in the south central patrol area pending the conclusion of the investigation.
2010 in-custody death
The officer was involved in the Dec. 11, 2010, death of Anthony Jones from a lethal combination of drugs and police Tasers. That case, the second controversial Taser death that year, prompted the department to change its policies regarding how many times and for how long a suspect can be stunned with an electronic control device.
Hatten pulled over Jones’ car about 1 a.m. on the 1000 block of West Lake Mead Boulevard, near Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Police have said Jones ran north across Lake Mead and jumped a wall into the backyard of an abandoned house. When Hatten and another officer caught up to him, he resisted them.
Hatten fired his stun gun 10 times for about 92 seconds, and the other officer fired his twice for about 10 seconds. Jones stopped breathing soon after he was handcuffed and was later pronounced dead at Valley Hospital Medical Center.
Jones died from cocaine and ethanol intoxication, the coroner’s office said, but other factors contributed to his death, including “police restraining procedures.”
Shortly afterward, Metro banned multiple officers from using Tasers on someone at the same time and limited their use to three, five-second cycles.
Contact Wesley Juhl at email@example.com and 702-383-0391. Follow @WesJuhl on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Mike Shoro contributed to this report.
Las Vegas police have been involved in 16 shootings this year. In 2016, Metro officers were involved in 10 shootings.