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NHP shoots, kills man carrying rifle on I-15

A man carrying a rifle while walking along Interstate 15 near the Strip was shot dead by a trooper early Saturday morning, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.

The incident prompted the freeway’s closure in both directions for seven hours.

Trooper Chelsea Webster said the state agency received calls about 3:30 a.m. that a man was on the highway carrying a “high-powered rifle.” They said he was walking north on the interstate, south of Sahara Avenue.

It was unclear whether the man fired any shots while walking on the freeway.

When troopers arrived, they encountered the man heading toward Charleston Boulevard, trooper Loy Hixson said.

Troopers then created a traffic break, a maneuver to clear traffic swiftly, NHP said.

It wasn’t immediately clear what happened, but the man, whom NHP believes was in his late 20s to early 30s, was shot and died on the scene, NHP said.

The investigation was placed in the hands of Las Vegas police.

The man’s identity will be released by the Clark County coroner’s office.

The names of the troopers involved in the shooting will be released at a later time. Webster said at least one trooper was placed on administrative leave.

I-15 was shut down in both directions between Sahara and Spring Mountain Road.

Businesses near the area consisted of a gas station, a bank and a restaurant, including the Artisan Hotel Boutique, which was having a Halloween party about a mile away. The hotel’s front desk manager, Rebecca Guzman, said the party, which brought in about 1,000 people, went on from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Officer-involved shootings are rare for the Highway Patrol.

In 2010, 21-year-old Eduardo Hernandez-Lopez died when he was involved in a physical altercation with troopers on U.S. Highway 95. Hernandez-Lopez, who was described as an “irate individual,” was shot with a Taser. Troopers later noticed he was not breathing. He was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Contact Ricardo Torres at rtorres@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0381. Find him on Twitter: @rickytwrites. Contact Cassandra Taloma at ctaloma@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0391.

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