Police kill knife-wielding man outside Las Vegas pawn shop

Updated July 11, 2017 - 7:48 pm

A Las Vegas police officer shot and killed a man armed with a knife Tuesday afternoon outside a northwest valley pawnshop.

The shooting happened shortly after a violent attempted carjacking in front of the SuperPawn at 4111 N. Rancho Drive, which involved the man with the knife, Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Jeff Clark said.

Police said several men, including the man with the knife, pulled up to the pawnshop in the same truck about 1:10 p.m., then jumped out of the vehicle. For unknown reasons, the man with the knife began “trying to attack the others,” Clark said.

During the attack, the man with the knife managed to climb back into the passenger side of the truck, then tried to steal the vehicle.

The driver had a hammer nearby, Clark said, and used it to strike the man with the knife “a couple times.” Eventually, the man with the knife was forced to run away, Clark said.

After the violent ordeal, Clark said, the remaining men reported the incident to the pawnshop’s manager but said they were “not going to stick around.” An officer began heading to the scene as the remaining men got back into the truck and drove off, leaving the man with the knife behind.

It’s unclear whether the man with the knife knew the men he was trying to attack or was a hitchhiker, Clark said.

“We’re operating based on what they told thirdhand to the manager at the pawn store,” he said.

Tried to stab officer

Shortly after the attempted carjacking, a lone officer rolled up to the scene. Witnesses pointed him to the man with the knife, who was walking just north of the pawnshop.

From his patrol car, the officer tried to stop the man, but the man kept walking.

The officer stopped his vehicle and stepped out, still ordering the man to stop. Suddenly, the man “turned back at the officer and charged him with a knife,” attempting to stab him, Clark said.

“Our officer fired multiple shots from a very close range,” and the man with the knife died on scene, Clark said.

Continuing investigation

As detectives investigated the police shooting, a large swath of North Rancho Drive was shut down between Craig and Alexander roads. It remained closed in both directions for several hours.

Las Vegas police did not identify the man killed or the officer who fired. Clark said the department will release more information in the next three days.

Detectives are working to identify the men who left the scene in the truck, which was described as a 2001 burgundy or maroon Chevrolet with Oklahoma plate 353FDI.

“We need to talk to the males of that truck to find out everything that transpired before our arrival,” Clark said.

When reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, the pawnshop manager declined to comment. Anyone with information on this case may call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter.

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