A Clark County coroner’s inquest into the shooting death of a suspected male prostitute by an undercover police officer has been scheduled for Feb. 28, Las Vegas police said.
County Coroner Ron Flud appointed Las Vegas attorney H. Leon Simon, 52, to serve as hearing officer during the inquest, to take place at 9 a.m. on Feb. 28 in the domestic relations courtroom in the Clark County Courthouse.
Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police on Wednesday released the names of the officer and the suspect involved in the shooting, which occurred at about 9 p.m. Sunday.
Vice officer George Pease, 24, shot and killed suspect Donald Bryan Schiess, 20, in the front seat of an unmarked police car after police said Schiess used a knife to cut Pease’s throat during a robbery attempt.
Police said Pease had picked up Schiess, a suspected male prostitute, at 8 p.m. at Ninth and Fremont streets, where Schiess solicited sex from the undercover officer. Other officers then put the two men under surveillance as Pease drove the suspect to 15th Street and Lewis Avenue, where he stopped the car.
After Schiess told him the price for a particular sex act and the officer agreed to it, the suspect pulled out a knife and demanded Pease’s wallet, police said. Schiess placed the blade on Pease’s throat and started cutting, police said.
Pease then drew a 9mm pistol from under the car seat and fired three shots at Schiess, hitting the suspect in the head, chest and arm. Schiess died immediately.
Metro Lt. Charles Davidaitis said Schiess had been in Las Vegas for less than a month. He was from the Southern California area and had lived for a time in Hollywood, Davidaitis said.
While he had no local arrest record, Schiess had a number of arrests in Southern California, including some related to male prostitution activity, he said.
Pease joined the police force on Feb. 13, 1988, and was recently transferred from patrol to vice, Davidaitis said.
A jury will be selected at the start of the inquest to decide whether the officer’s action was justifiable or criminal.
Simon, a 22-year veteran lawyer currently in private practice, previously worked as a Clark County deputy district attorney and a public defender in Las Vegas.
The hearing will be the sixth coroner’s inquest in which he has served as hearing officer, Simon said.