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April 27, 2015

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Police: Plan to arrest man called for pepper spray, ended with bullets


Steve Marcus

Sheriff Doug Gillespie addresses reporters during a news conference at Metro Police Headquarters on Monday, Dec. 12, 2011. Gillespie called the news conference after an officer shot and killed a man at a condominium complex in the northwest valley.

Sheriff Holds News Conference After Shooting

Sheriff Doug Gillespie arrives for a news conference at Metro Police Headquarters Monday, December 12, 2011. Gillespie called the news conference after a Metro Police officer shot and killed a man early this morning at a condominium complex in the northwest valley.  . Launch slideshow »

Fatal police shooting

Details released by Metro Police in Monday’s shooting of Stanley Gibson, a 43-year-old Gulf War veteran, show Gibson was shot by an officer in a botched attempt to force him from his car using pepper spray and non-lethal beanbag rounds.

A statement issued by Metro on Friday detailed events leading up to the shooting, in which Gibson was killed after Metro officers responded to a burglary call at a condominium complex. Gibson was unarmed.

The shooting was the 18th officer-involved shooting in Metro’s jurisdiction this year and has prompted calls by some organizations for a federal investigation into how the department uses deadly force.

Early Monday morning, Gibson spent more than half an hour in his white Cadillac, boxed in by two patrol cars, while Metro officers repeatedly ordered him to get out of the vehicle, according to the statement.

Gibson persisted in trying to drive away, spinning his tires while failing to acknowledge officers and refusing to exit the vehicle, the statement said.

Police developed a plan to use a beanbag round fired from a shotgun to break a window on Gibson’s car and then fill the cabin with pepper spray to force him out, the statement said.

But when the beanbag round was fired, another officer fired seven live rounds from a rifle, striking and killing Gibson, the statement said.

Officer Jesus Arevalo, officer Malik Grego-Smith, Sgt. Michael Hnatuick and Lt. David Dockendorf were involved in the shooting, which happened near Smoke Ranch Road and Rainbow Boulevard, police said.

According to Stanley Gibson’s wife, Rhonda, Gibson was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and brain cancer.

Rhonda Gibson said her husband had been unable to get his medication to control his anxiety and that he called her in a state of confusion Sunday night, thinking he was home while he was at the neighboring condominium complex.

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  1. Chunky says:

    Tragic in so many ways.

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  2. "But when the beanbag round was fired, another officer fired seven live rounds from a rifle, striking and killing Gibson, the statement said."

    Unarmed and trapped in his car. That's about right for Metro's latest victim.

    How about naming which officer fired the rifle? And by what right did he decide Gibson's life was to be ended without due process of law?

    "In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means . . . would bring terrible retribution." -- Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928), Justice Brandeis dissenting

  3. First let me say police officers in this city have very difficult jobs. Las Vegas is home to the last vestige of "the wild, wild west," and I know police officers would like to go home to their families safe and sound at the end of a shift.

    That said, there is something horribly wrong at Metro. Killing unarmed citizens, repeatedly, and every one ruled justified? Shooting suspects in the back? Shooting a West Point graduate as he left a Costco (complete with a magically disappearing surveillance video)? Shooting an unarmed man in his own bathroom? Beating a man for lawfully using his video camera? And now refusing even to participate in investigations?

    Whether it's the result of poor training, poor hiring, or just that good old "eaten up with power" syndrome, the sad truth is that the poor judgment of a few officers is causing real damage to the entire force.

    Something has to change. Quickly. Completely.

  4. "They already have said that it was Jesus Arevalo who fired the rifle."

    johnmanrules -- thanx for that. I didn't check the links

    "Indifference to personal liberty is but the precursor of the State's hostility to it." -- United States v. Penn, 647 F.2d 876 (9th Circuit, 1980), Judge Kennedy dissenting

  5. "What about the Ice Cream Lady that was Killed by Metro ?"

    usecommonsense -- she was executed by a Henderson police officer.

    "The police trainers teach that they are 'fighting a war'. Everyone should be able to see where Metro's aggressive mentality comes from."

    Patriot1 -- excellent post. It's not limited to Metro -- it's everywhere. The Tuscon-area sheriff's raiders who executed that Iraqi war veteran last spring is more outrageous than what Metro's been doing here. Radley Balko has been writing for years about the militarization of our municipal police. Have a look -- "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America" @

    My long experience with government has brought me to the conclusion it is incapable of self-reform. Unless We the people make the changes, nothing will change. The fact that fascist Joe Arpaio has been voted in over and over again speaks to the herd mentality of the body politick, and that says nothing good about voters.

    "Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams "Thoughts on Government" (1776)

  6. I'm with BChap regarding a charge of manslaughter. We need a little more out of these incidences than "Oops! Sorry, we messed up". There is no reason stated here or in other coverage that says there were mistaken orders or anything. This officer, with no apparent reason so far defined, opened up on a guy who was sitting in his car and had been for 30 minutes and done nothing more violent than spin his tires. We're not talking about 'up close and personal' with his handgun where the officer could claim he felt threatened. He stood off at a distance with a rifle and pumped seven rounds into the car. This is totally disgusting.

  7. It comes to this "Choices". We all have them, we all make them. Obviously the best choice here is, do not put yourself, knowingly in harms way. Bad things happen, and that is actually what happened.