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Las Vegas officer in garage shooting identified

The Las Vegas police officer who shot and killed Abdul Hamlan, 52, in the northwest valley Tuesday has been identified as Gregory Watkins, 37, a 13-year veteran of the department.

Police said Hamlan pointed a gun at officers in what has been described as a possible “suicide by cop” as they approached him in the garage of his home at 3916 Grand Meadow St., near Grand Canyon Drive and Alexander Road.

Watkins, who is assigned to the Northwest Area Command, and other officers were responding to a call from Hamlan’s roommate, who said he was “having life issues” and might be suicidal.

Officers told the man to drop the weapon, but he rolled onto his side and pointed the gun at Watkins, who fired multiple shots.

Police said they did not know whether Hamlan spoke to officers before he pointed a gun.

Hamlan later died at a hospital.

Police said Hamlan suffered from “mental stress” issues, but did not elaborate.

According to Hamlan’s Facebook page, he worked for JT3, a Las Vegas-based company that provides flight-test engineering and analysis to the Air Force. A spokeswoman for the company declined comment Tuesday.

Hamlan wrote that he specialized in ground-to-air communications and had worked at the company since 1985.

Born in Saudi Arabia and raised in England, Hamlan emigrated to the United States when he was 14. He wrote that he was an avid dog lover who described himself as a “non-conformist rebel and nerd at the same time.”

Watkins has been placed on routine paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

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