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Las Vegas police identify officers in shooting south of Strip

Updated January 18, 2022 - 5:52 pm

A woman approached police at a south valley gas station and mouthed the words “help me” before officers shot at her ex-boyfriend, who had pointed a gun at them, Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Lazaro Chavez said Tuesday.

Manuel Edwin Martinez was struck multiple times and arrested after a short foot pursuit Wednesday night, Chavez said.

Police initially described the shooting as an “exchange of gunfire,” but have found no evidence that the 34-year-old suspect fired his gun, Chavez said.

Martinez — who was rushed to University Medical Center — was initially booked into the Clark County Detention Center on two counts each of attempted murder on a police officer and assault with a deadly weapon, and one count each of kidnapping and illegal possession of a gun, Las Vegas Justice Court logs show.

He is being held on a $250,000 bail. Prosecutors declined to pursue the kidnapping charge.

Martinez is next due in court Wednesday morning.

Officers Zachary Falldorf, 32, and Dominic Lee, 37, were pumping gas toward the end of their shifts at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday in the 6100 block of Las Vegas Boulevard South, north of Sunset Road, when an SUV pulled up next to them, Chavez said.

The woman walked up to the officers and asked for help, Chavez said.

The woman, who was not injured, later told investigators that Martinez had asked her to take him to a hospital, but that he changed his mind when she was driving, Chavez said, noting that the woman had said she felt “uncomfortable” and “unsafe” for undisclosed statements Martinez had allegedly made.

Video released by Metro Tuesday showed the officers scramble when Martinez also stepped out of the SUV.

Lazaro said that the officers shot at Martinez three different times, with Lee firing seven bullets, and Falldorf two.

After Martinez was shot, he hid his gun in the officers’ cruiser, then got back up, and ran toward the back of a convenience store where he was arrested, Chavez said.

The officers were placed on routine paid leave while an internal investigation continues.

This was the third shooting by Metro officers in 2022, compared to none during the same time in 2021, Lazaro said.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickytwrites.

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