Las Vegas police officer who wounded robbery suspect identified

Updated June 11, 2018 - 6:51 pm

Las Vegas police have identified the detective who shot a robbery suspect early Saturday while attempting to take him into custody in the southwest valley.

Sgt. Joseph Emery, 53, has been placed on paid administrative leave while the Metropolitan Police Department investigates the shooting. Emery joined the department in September 1990 and is assigned to the major violator and narcotics crime bureau.

It was the seventh shooting and fourth nonfatal by a Metro officer this year.

At this time last year, there were eight officer-involved shootings and five fatal shootings by officers, Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman said Monday.

Zimmerman on Monday showed footage of the shooting from a K-9 officer’s body-worn camera and from the department’s air unit.

“It raises the hairs on the back of your neck; it’s such a dangerous situation,” he said. “But they have a job to do and they go in and they do it heroically, just like these guys did.”

On Friday morning, detectives had been conducting surveillance of Shan Kittredge, 38, a suspect in eight recent robberies across the valley since May 21, Zimmerman said.

At about 12:35 a.m. Saturday, officers attempted to take Kittredge into custody when he stopped for gas at a convenience store at 3790 Blue Diamond Road, near Valley View Boulevard.

Police positioned vehicles in the front and rear of Kittredge’s vehicle to prevent his escape. He initially complied with orders to get on the ground, then got back in his car and attempted to flee, Zimmerman said.

Kittredge put the car in reverse, striking a Metro vehicle and almost striking an officer, Zimmerman said. Emery saw Kittredge raise his loaded 9 mm handgun twice and aim at officers, Zimmerman said.

Emery fired 14 rounds at Kittredge with his .45-caliber handgun, striking him five times: a couple times in the arm, the upper shoulder, and “he may have taken a wound to the side of the head, but not fatal, and I think he had one in the neck,” Zimmerman said.

“The scene was very dynamic, this was a very violent individual,” he said. “With the gun pointed at another detective, he felt he had to take action at that time. It was a split-second decision.”

Kittredge was taken to University Medical and was in stable condition, Zimmerman said. A woman in the front passenger seat was not injured, but she was taken into custody.

It wasn’t clear if she is a suspect in any of the recent robberies, which included late-night restaurants, convenience stores and grocery stores, and had become increasingly violent, Zimmerman said.

In one robbery, Zimmerman said, Kittredge aimed his gun at an armed citizen, but the weapon malfunctioned and he fled the scene.

“At that point, we knew the level of violence was high and a high priority,” he said.

Zimmerman said Kittredge’s criminal history in Clark County includes charges of battery, possession of a credit card without owner’s consent, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a dangerous weapon, and trafficking a controlled substance. At the time of his arrest Saturday, he had an active robbery warrant and a battery warrant, with additional charges pending related to the recent robberies, Zimmerman said.

Anyone with information on the case can call Metro’s force investigation team at 702-828-8452 or Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @brianarerick on Twitter. Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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