‘I’m not a vendetta cop-killer’

After being arrested in the shooting of three SWAT officers, Emmanuel Dozier sat in the back of a police patrol vehicle Sunday night.

After a while, he asked to speak to somebody about what had happened.

A Las Vegas police narcotics detective opened the car door and asked what he needed.

“I want you to know something in your heart,” Dozier told the detective, according to his arrest report. “I did not mean to shoot any cops.”

The detective replied that he wanted to believe him.

“Please know in your heart,” Dozier pleaded again. “I did not mean to shoot the cops.”

Dozier was being investigated by Las Vegas police for weeks leading up to the shooting. Undercover narcotics detectives had purchased small amounts of cocaine from Dozier at his Seven Hills home in Henderson three times in December, according to the arrest report.

Reached at the Clark County Detention Center on Tuesday, the 32-year-old father and sheet metal worker refused to answer questions about Sunday night’s shooting, which happened after officers tried to serve a search warrant at his home. But he did say he didn’t have anything against police.

“I’m not a vendetta cop-killer,” Dozier said.

The shooting might indeed have been unintended. After the incident, Dozier told police he believed it was a home invasion, according to his arrest report. His girlfriend called 911 to report that their home was being broken into, according to her lawyer.

Dozier made his first court appearance via teleconference Tuesday morning in Henderson Justice Court, where he was read the charges against him: three counts of attempted murder on a police officer and three counts of possession of a controlled substance.

His bail was set at more than $3 million.

On Dec. 7, 9 and 21, detectives went to Dozier’s home, at 2972 Panorama Ridge Drive, and purchased cocaine from him, his arrest report says.

Police obtained a search warrant and planned to serve it Sunday night. Because of the histories of Dozier and a man associated with him, it was decided that SWAT officers would serve the warrant.

In 1996, Dozier was arrested for second-degree robbery and convicted of felony evading a police officer in California, according to the arrest report.

The man associated with Dozier, 29-year-old Quincy Dunlap, has a criminal history involving weapons in California, according to the report.

When they arrived to serve the warrant at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, three SWAT officers announced that they were officers serving a search warrant, police said.

When there was no response from inside the house, the officers tried to breach the metal security door. Officer Jacinto Rivera said the officers fired a special type of round designed to break metal locks. On Tuesday, the door appeared to have been shot around the lock at least three times.

The officers then were shot from inside the house, according to the report. All three were hit in the thigh, said Deputy Chief Joseph Lombardo. One also was struck in the hand. They did not fire back.

Dozier eventually surrendered to police. The other people inside the house were his 33-year-old girlfriend, Belinda Saavedra, her 13-year-old daughter and the couple’s 3-month-old son.

Lombardo said police found a small amount of marijuana in the house and some drug paraphernalia, but no cocaine.

Dozier told police after the shooting that he “wasn’t sure” it was police at the door and thought the raid was a home invasion, his arrest report says.

Saavedra’s lawyer, Vicki Greco, said her client called 911 twice during the incident, once to report that her house was being broken into and then after Dozier shot at police, to alert police that they were coming out peacefully.

Rivera confirmed that Saavedra called 911, but he didn’t know how many times.

Greco contends police never identified themselves before Dozier shot them. Police and Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie deny that.

The two children present during the shooting and a third who was not have been placed in protective custody. Saavedra will try to regain custody during a family court hearing today.

Greco said Saavedra has been unduly punished by having her children taken away.

“My client hasn’t been charged with anything,” Greco said. “She wasn’t arrested. Her children weren’t in any harm. If anybody put these kids in danger, it was the police.”

Greco said Saavedra also disputes police’s claim that marijuana was found in the house, saying, “No charges of marijuana possession were brought against her or him.”

The image of Dozier as a drug dealer doesn’t sit right with his next-door neighbor, 49-year-old Mike Henry.

“There’s been some kind of huge mistake made from the get-go,” Henry said. “The bottom line is, the guy isn’t a drug dealer and he doesn’t do drugs.”

Henry said he got Dozier a job with a local sheet metal union and holds him in high regard. He believes the incident was a case of mistaken identity.

“It just doesn’t make sense. No way. There’s something just plain wrong,” he said.

Dozier also said Tuesday that police gave him a black eye around his right eye while he was being arrested.

Lombardo confirmed that the black eye was caused by an officer who was arresting Dozier. While an officer was trying to put him in handcuffs, Dozier began to resist arrest, and another officer struck him in the face with his forearm while trying to force him to the ground.

Lombardo said a use of force report was filed in the case, and the officer’s superiors will review it.

Review-Journal writers Antonio Planas, Brian Haynes, David Kihara and Lynnette Curtis contributed to this report. Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at lmower@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0440.

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