Three officers involved in a July shooting that killed a man whofired a pellet gun at a policeman near his doorstep should not face criminal prosecution, according to a preliminary finding from the Clark County district attorney.
The determination was announced Friday by William Jansen, the hearing master of a Police Fatality Public Fact-finding Review in the case involving the death of Bryan Keith Day, 36. The district attorney is expected to detail the decision in a news release early next week, a district attorney’s office spokeswoman said.
The purpose of the county-required hearing is to present essential facts surrounding Day’s death to the public, Jansen said.
Metropolitan Police Department Detective Brian Kowalski, who focuses on the criminal aspect and legality of officers’ conduct, was questioned during the two-hour hearing. Kowalski, the lead agent in the case, showed a PowerPoint presentation outlining his findings.
Three officers, Keith McIntyre, Christopher Gowens and John Squeo, were involved in the July 25 shooting.
The incident unfolded about 6:15 p.m. July 25 while the officers were investigating a reported home invasion next door to Day’s second-floor unit at Oasis Ridge Apartments, 3040 E. Charleston Blvd. in Las Vegas, police said in July.
Kowalski said Friday that Day was walking through the crime scene, and officers told Day not to interfere and gave him the option of leaving his apartment or staying inside.
Day, who was not involved in the incident, never spoke a word, Kowalski said.
He later came out and put a black object in his waistband. Gowens, believing the object to be a gun, commanded Day to lift his shirt as Day moved toward McIntyre, Kowalski said. He partially complied, but officers still couldn’t identify the object. He then turned away from Gowens and McIntyre, drew what was later determined to be a air-soft pellet gun, and then fired, striking McIntyre under his right eye, Kowalski said.
McIntyre and Gowens fired back multiple times , and Squeo, who was farther away, moved over and fired multiple times at Day, Kowalski said.
According to the autopsy report, Day was struck 20 times by bullets fired by all three officers, said Kowalski, who later noted officers fired 59 rounds, and Day fired three.
Two days after the shooting, Day’s mother told him Day was a little bipolar and she had not seen him in a while, Kowalski said. When Kowalski spoke with her again in August, she said Day had been diagnosed as bipolar and schizophrenic, he said.
Conrad Claus, an ombudsman representing the public and the family, asked questions on behalf of the family.
Family members wanted to know why Day was handcuffed when already deceased and why Day would attack police when his toxicology report came back clear. When a shooting occurs, Kowalski responded, officers don’t make the decision of whether the person is deceased, paramedics make the final decision. Day’s state of mind was unknown to officers, he said.
Contact Raven Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0381. Find @ravenmjackson on Twitter.