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Suspect shot, killed by Las Vegas police after traffic stop

Updated December 1, 2018 - 4:54 pm

A male suspect was shot and killed by a police officer Saturday morning during a physical altercation after a traffic stop north of downtown Las Vegas.

About 7:40 a.m., a Las Vegas police officer attempted to pull over the suspect, who was speeding and driving recklessly in a residential area, police said. Police dispatch logs show the traffic stop was first reported near East Tropicana Avenue and Mountain Vista Street.

The suspect eventually pulled over about seven miles away, near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street, just north of Fremont Street, according to Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Jamie Prosser. The officer then asked the driver to step out of the vehicle, which he did, she said.

“The subject began reaching for a large, bulky item in his waistband,” Prosser told reporters during a news conference late Saturday morning near the scene of the shooting. Prosser declined to say whether he was armed.

The officer told him to stop reaching for the item, but when the suspect repeatedly ignored the commands, the officer grabbed him in an attempt to put him in handcuffs, Prosser said. The suspect instead turned on the officer, and the two began wrestling, she said.

During the fight, the officer deployed his Taser, but Prosser said it wasn’t immediately clear whether the deployment was successful. The suspect briefly fell to the ground but stood up again and “charged at the officer,” Prosser said, prompting the officer to open fire.

The suspect was struck an unknown number of times and was pronounced dead at University Medical Center. It was not clear how many shots were fired.

The scene was roped off by crime tape for nearly four hours Saturday as Metro officers investigated and reviewed body-worn camera footage. A large truck labeled “Crime Scene Investigators” arrived about 9:15 a.m.

Metro will identify the involved officer in 48 hours, and further details will be released within 72 hours, per the department’s policy.

The Clark County coroner’s office will identify the man once his family has been notified of his death, marking Metro’s 12th fatal officer-involved shooting this year. Metro had been involved in 22 shootings this year as of Saturday.

The suspect’s death also marked the 150th homicide investigated this year by Metro, according to Review-Journal records. The newspaper tracks all homicides in the county, including deadly officer-involved shootings and self-defense homicides.

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

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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