Police cleared in soldier’s death in Reno

RENO — Washoe County District Attorney Richard Gammick has ruled police officers were justified when they fatally shot an active-duty Army soldier in Reno while he was visiting family last year.

Police responded to a report of a suicidal man with a shotgun on July 11, 2013, and located 27-year-old Kenneth Stafford in the backyard of a home where the owners didn’t know him.

According to police, Stafford quickly turned toward Reno and Sparks officers and pointed the gun at them. Police said all five officers reacted simultaneously by firing 22 shots, 14 of which hit Stafford.

None of the officers were wounded.

Gammick defended the shooting, saying officers confronted with weapons must make split-second decisions.

But Stafford’s wife, Aimee Stafford, told KRNV-TV she disagreed with Gammick’s finding.

She said her husband was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after earning medals in Iraq and needed help from the officers.

The helicopter mechanic was deployed in Iraq from February to December 2011.

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