An officer who shot a man in the foot in early 2017 won’t face charges, according to a report released Thursday by Clark County prosecutors.
North Las Vegas Sgt. Michael Booker accidentally shot once Jan. 3, 2017, while attempting to turn on a flashlight mounted on his gun, prosecutors wrote in the report. They determined Booker didn’t commit a crime because the shooting appeared to be accidental.
Booker was part of a perimeter police had set up just after midnight Jan. 3 because a man had barricaded himself inside a house at 2237 Statz St., near Carey Avenue and Belmont Street. Just after midnight on a neighboring street, a car driven by Phillip Murry inched forward near a SWAT vehicle Booker occupied.
Booker got out of the car and commanded Murry to stop the car, according to the report. The officer pointed his gun toward the ground and accidentally fired once into Murry’s car fender and into his foot, the report said.
Prosecutors wrote the bullet’s trajectory supports Booker’s claim the shooting was accidental.
“An intentional shot presumably would have gone through the windshield or driver’s side window in order to eliminate a threat posed by the driver of the vehicle,” the report said.
Murry told investigators he noticed the SWAT vehicle as he moved his car forward slowly but didn’t recognize it was a SWAT vehicle. He said he stopped his car because he thought the person getting out of the vehicle would ask him something or give him directions.
“All Murry heard was, ‘Hey!’ He then heard a gunshot and felt something on his foot; therefore, he started to reach down toward his foot and ‘freaked out,’” the report said.
He filed a lawsuit against the Police Department about two weeks after the shooting. The civil lawsuit suggests Booker didn’t realize he shot Murry and continued to yell at Murry to raise his hands.
Peter Goldstein, representing Murry in the ongoing lawsuit, called Booker’s actions “reckless,” claiming Booker failed to adhere to Police Department protocols. He also disputed Booker’s claim that he gave Murry comprehensive commands before firing.
After-hours calls on Thursday and Friday to Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson for comment weren’t returned.
Booker returned to active duty within the department, but it wasn’t immediately clear when.