A 33-year-old Las Vegas man was shot and wounded by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Monday near Searchlight after being stopped for suspicion of drunken driving and then trying to escape in the officer’s patrol car, authorities said.
The man, James Stonebraker, was taken to University Medical Center by helicopter ambulance. He was listed in stable condition late Monday after being hit once in the upper chest. He is expected to survive, said trooper Steve Harney, a patrol spokesman.
The shooting happened at 12:45 p.m. on the northbound side of U.S. Highway 95 about two miles south of Searchlight and about 70 miles south of Las Vegas. The officer, whose name was not released, stopped the car and conducted a sobriety test on the driver.
Details on exactly how the man got control of the vehicle during the arrest were sketchy, Harney said.
"The subject attempted to flee in the officer’s vehicle, and the trooper fired once through the front windshield, hitting the man once in the chest, incapacitating him," Harney said. The trooper’s gun was a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson.
Metropolitan Police Department investigators, including Deputy Chief John Sullivan, and Nevada Highway Patrol command officers are conducting an investigation into the shooting, Harney said.
The trooper was placed on paid administrative leave, and his name will not be released until 48 hours after the shooting, as department policy requires.
Stonebraker driver’s license was revoked in California for a drunken driving conviction, and he was arrested Sept. 11 in Las Vegas on suspicion for drunken driving, Harney said.
Less than a month ago, another Las Vegas man stole a trooper’s patrol car during a drunken driving arrest and led other troopers on a chase before crashing in the desert near Lake Mead Boulevard.