A fraction of an inch and a lot of luck saved the life of a man shot in the head Monday night during a robbery at an ATM.
The man, whose name was not released by police, had just pulled cash from the Wells Fargo bank at 3300 W. Sahara Ave., near Valley View Boulevard, about 9:45 p.m. when he was approached by a gunman and a woman in a pickup, said Lt. Clint Nichols, head of the Las Vegas police robbery unit.
The gunman got out, pointed a rifle at the victim and demanded money. The victim handed over his wallet and headed for his car, but before he could get in, the gunman fired two shots.
One shot missed. The second hit the man behind the ear, but the bullet didn’t penetrate the skull, Nichols said.
Instead the projectile traveled along the back of the man’s head between his scalp and skull before exiting on the opposite side, he said.
The victim got in his car and drove a little less than 2 miles to his home near Oakey and Decatur boulevards before calling police.
He was eventually taken to University Medical Center, where he was bandaged and sent home, Nichols said.
“To get shot in the head at close range and live, you’re a pretty lucky guy,” he said. “You usually don’t get two of those.”
The bullet probably was fired from a small-caliber rifle, which probably saved the man’s life, he said. Nichols said the chances of surviving a point-blank shot to the head were about 1 percent.
Investigators planned to review video footage from the ATM and any other cameras in the area, he said.
Police searched for the robber and getaway driver.
The driver was a Hispanic woman in her early 20s. The gunman was a Hispanic or black male in his early 20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 170 pounds. They were in a white older-model Ford F-150 truck with orange trim.
Monday’s incident reflected a growing trend among valley robberies in which victims are shot after complying with commands, Nichols said.
“This guy did everything we would have asked him to do,” he said. “This one is some pretty extreme violence.”
Even worse was the July 11 shooting of Steve Inman, a 60-year-old Green Valley Grocery store clerk. Inman was shot in the head by a man with a rifle after handing over the less than $100 in the register.
Inman, a retiree who took the job to help pay for his wife’s cancer treatment, spent months in a coma before dying in November. His wife, Teresa, had died two weeks earlier after putting her cancer treatment on hold to remain by his bedside.
Authorities have charged Deonte Marquin Marshall, 28, with the slaying. Last month he was sent to a state mental hospital for a treatment before the case can continue.
Contact reporter Brian Haynes at email@example.com or (702) 383-0281.