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Las Vegas officer, woman reunite at Hope for Prisoners event

Ashley Olivetti has plans for 2020. By Jan. 11 of that year, she hopes to have bought a car, found a job and adopted a puppy.

She had hoped to introduce her son by then to the Las Vegas police officer who shot her Dec. 25, 2017.

On Friday night, Olivetti got that wish a year early. She introduced her 7-year-old son, Ashton, to Tyler Hebb — the man who shot her in the arm during a shooting that sent her to jail for what she said will be the last time.

“It was for Ashton because I didn’t want him to have a warped perception of what the relationship between law enforcement and people should be,” Olivetti said about the meeting.

She was attending her graduation ceremony from the Hope for Prisoners program at the Metropolitan Police Department headquarters Friday night when she was surprised by Hebb’s appearance. Those who participate in Hope for Prisoners, which provides support and job training for previously incarcerated people, are asked to write a “vivid vision” that describes a day in their life a year in the future.

In Olivetti’s vision, she spends time with her son and introduces him to Hebb, whom she credits with helping save her life. In December 2017 she was involved in a police shooting, when Hebb and Metro trainee Brandon Foster fired 26 shots in North Las Vegas.

The shooting stemmed from police chasing the car in which Olivetti was riding. The driver, William Alfredo Chafoya, matched the description of a suspect in an earlier shooting.

The chase ended when Chafoya and Olivetti ran from the car toward a home. Chafoya, who survived the encounter, fired at least one shot and was struck 19 times by the officers. Olivetti, caught in the crossfire, was hit once in her lower right arm.

“I remember everything. It was like slow motion,” Olivetti, 33, said Friday. “The burning sensation in my arm to hearing the guy I was associated with crying out he was dying. And the blood — lots of blood.”

Olivetti said Hebb applied a tourniquet to her upper arm, preventing her from losing more blood. She has a scar through the tattoo near her wrist where the bullet went out, and her plan for 2020 includes its complete healing.

Olivetti pleaded guilty in October 2017 to one count each of altering the serial number on a firearm and possession of stolen property, as well as two counts of owning or possessing a firearm by a prohibited person, district court records show. She was sentenced to complete a yearlong program at a drug rehabilitation facility.

Olivetti said she was able to receive a shortened sentence through negotiations with Chief Deputy District Attorney Jacqueline Bluth.

“I told you in that meeting that I was taking a huge risk with making a deal with you, and the only reason I was doing it was because I could see that deep inside you, where the drugs could not penetrate, was a genuinely good human being who had much to offer,” Bluth wrote in a letter to Olivetti that was read during the graduation ceremony.

Olivetti doesn’t shy away from her past as a convicted felon, and she cites her faith as the reason she turned her life around after getting the shortened sentence.

“She shouldn’t have given me that chance, but it was God,” Olivetti said. “Someone like me should have went to prison for a long time.”

Hebb said it was the first time he’s seen Olivetti since the shooting.

“I’m glad that she’s doing good,” the officer said.

Ashton showed off the Metro patch Hebb gave him during the ceremony, when he met Olivetti after she spoke to the crowd about her future plans.

During the ceremony, as Hebb approached the front of the room to shake Olivetti’s hand, she thanked him and picked up her son.

“Mommy was doing something she shouldn’t do, and that’s why she was in that situation,” she told Ashton. “He’s a good man who saved my life, OK?”

“OK,” he replied, as the crowd gave a standing ovation.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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