A Las Vegas police officer shot and killed a 53-year-old former Riviera bartender on Saturday night after he pointed a gun at the officer, authorities said.
Police said the man, identified by people who knew him as Javier Escamilla, had been stalking his ex-girlfriend Saturday night when police chased him and confronted him after he wrecked a pickup.
The incident started about 10:15 p.m., when police received a call that a man who had a temporary restraining order against him was lurking near a house in the 6500 block of Moon Rose Court, near Rainbow Boulevard and Washington Avenue.
The house belongs to Maria Ramirez, a 40-year-old cocktail waitress who had obtained the restraining order against him in February after filing an assault complaint.
He drove away when the police arrived at the house Saturday night but crashed about two miles away at Jones Boulevard and Alta Drive, said Las Vegas police Lt. Lew Roberts.
A police officer who arrived at the scene of the accident opened the door to the pickup and saw the driver had a gun, Roberts said. When the pickup’s driver pointed the gun at the officer, the officer fired, killing him, Roberts said.
Ramirez said she dated Escamilla for more than a year but broke the relationship off more than a year ago.
On Jan. 26, Escamilla attacked her with a gun and threatened to kill her inside her house, she alleged. He was arrested and faced multiple charges.
He eventually pleaded guilty to attempted coercion in District Court, according to court records that spell his last name as “Escamille.” He was scheduled to be sentenced on May 14.
Ramirez, who has three daughters, said the January attack left her fearing not only for her own safety but also that of her youngest daughters, ages 14 and 16, who live with her. So on Feb. 23 she obtained a court order that prohibited Escamilla from contacting her or coming within 100 yards of her.
But he broke the order several times, she said. According to a police report, he went to her house on March 16 and pushed her inside after she returned from dropping her daughter off at school.
He apologized to her and told her he “would never see her again,” according to the report.
He later sent her a letter and on April 29 he called her twice, according to a second police report.
Ramirez said she told court authorities that she was afraid. She also told them that Escamilla had broken the temporary restraining order, but they apparently didn’t think he posed a danger, she said.
“They didn’t think this was a serious thing,” she complained Sunday.
About three weeks ago, she spent $1,150 on security and surveillance systems for her house.
Her friend, Doug Poppa, a former police officer who helped install the surveillance system, said Ramirez had been terrified of her ex-boyfriend. “This woman was scared as hell,” Poppa said.
Poppa and Ramirez were at her house with her 14-year-old daughter Saturday night when Ramirez’s 16-year-old daughter called from down the street. She said she was walking home and had spotted Escamilla in a pickup nearby. Poppa called 911 and then, armed with a handgun, went outside to scare off Escamilla.
Police soon arrived, and Poppa said he didn’t have a chance to confront Escamilla. He later learned that Escamilla had fled the scene and had been shot and killed by a police officer.
Poppa said he simply was relieved that a higher death toll had been averted.
“If I wasn’t here and her daughter didn’t see him, he would have killed them all,” Poppa said.
Review-Journal writer Francis McCabe contributed to this report.