Las Vegas police found a stolen truck last week by using the owner’s anti-theft tracking protection before shooting the suspected thief after he pointed a gun, Clark County Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank said at a Monday news conference.
A 33-year-old Metropolitan Police Department officer shot Joshua Wade, 24, after he put the truck in reverse, got out while it was still moving and pointed a pellet gun at the officer, Hank said.
Officer Greg Amundson was part of a Metro “flex” team, consisting of patrol officers who handle a variety of calls and investigations, that responded late Wednesday when a woman reported her garage had been burglarized and her Dodge pickup truck stolen from outside her Spring Valley home, Hank said.
The truck had a tracking system, and officers were able to track it to the 3920 block of Raymert Drive, near Desert Inn and Sandhill roads, he said.
When the officers arrived at the address, they saw the truck parked in a dirt lot tucked at the end of a cul-de-sac. Wade walked out and stepped into the truck, at which time officers in two unmarked Metro cars pulled behind the vehicle and initiated a “high-risk car stop” with their lights flashing and sirens blaring, Hank said.
“The suspect, Wade, put the truck in reverse and then jumped out of the driver’s seat as the truck rolled back into one of the police vehicles,” Hank said.
Wade made his way to the front of the truck, pulled the pellet gun from his waistband and pointed it at Amundson, who fired twice.
Wade was struck at least once in the torso area. The 24-year-old was hospitalized at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center and is expected to survive.
Police didn’t show body camera footage Monday because the flex team officers wore plainclothes for their investigation and therefore weren’t required under Metro policy to wear body cameras.
“There are times where they may be in uniform and there are times where they may change out and not be in uniform depending on what they’re following up on and what they’re working on,” Hank said.
Amundson joined Metro in December 2007 and was assigned to the Spring Valley community policing division at the time of the shooting, according to the department. He has been placed on paid leave, per Metro policy, pending the outcome of the department’s investigation of the shooting.
Police said last week that a second person had been arrested in connection with the theft of the truck, but Metro spokeswoman Carla Alston clarified Monday that while one person was detained at the scene there were no additional arrests.
Wade, a two-time felon with a history of vehicle theft, is facing charges of assault on a protected person with a deadly weapon, resisting a public officer with a firearm and possession of a stolen vehicle, court records show. His bail was set to $50,000 by a Las Vegas judge on Friday.
Clark County District Court records show that his prior felonies stem from two separate cases from 2014 and 2015. According to the records, he pleaded guilty to lesser charges of attempted vehicle grand larceny in October 2014 and attempted possession of a stolen vehicle in July 2015 — both times as part of a deal.
In addition, court records show that Wade has a criminal history in Clark County dating back to at least 2014, with arrests on charges ranging from trespassing and possessing dangerous drugs to battery and petit larceny.
A status hearing in the 2019 case is scheduled for July 23. Should Wade post bail, he will be placed under high-level electronic monitoring and be barred from possessing any weapons.
Amundson’s shooting marks the 11 by Metro this year and its eighth non-fatal shooting this year. Metro had 10 police shootings and five non-fatal shootings as of this time last year.
Contact Mike Shoro at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter. Contact Rio Lacanlale at email@example.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter. Review-Journal reporter Amanda Bradford contributed to this report.