Published Monday, April 23, 2012 | 9 a.m.
Updated Monday, April 23, 2012 | 4:20 p.m.
In a dark alley early Saturday morning, officers spent 31 minutes trying to coax a woman out of a stolen vehicle, Metro Police said.
The department’s crisis-intervention team was on scene, with SWAT not far behind.
But police said the situation took a dangerous — and ultimately deadly — twist before negotiations with the woman could prove successful.
Deputy Chief Kathy O’Connor said the woman, identified as 49-year-old Sharmel T. Edwards, abruptly stepped out of the vehicle and, with both hands on the weapon, pointed a .45-caliber handgun at officers.
Five officers shot at her, striking her multiple times, said O’Connor, of Metro’s investigative services division. Edwards died at the scene.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office ruled her death a homicide, caused by multiple gunshot wounds.
She’s the second person to die this year in five Metro officer-involved shootings, O’Connor said.
The department on Monday identified the five officers involved in Saturday’s incident. All five officers have been placed on paid administrative leave. They are:
• Officer Melvyn F. English, 43, of the K-9 section. He’s been with Metro since March 1992.
• Officer Todd G. Edwards, 31, who has been with Metro since January 2006.
• Officer Christopher M. Grivas, who has been with Metro since December 2005.
• Officer Matthew J. Cook, 43, who has been with Metro since February 2004.
• Officer Truong T. Thai, 38, who has been with Metro since June 1999.
Edwards, Grivas, Cook and Thai are assigned to the Northwest Area Command’s patrol division, police said.
The shooting happened about 4:17 a.m. Saturday in an alley near Jones Boulevard and Smoke Ranch Road, police said.
A man had called police about 2 a.m. and said a female friend had taken his 2001 Cadillac without his permission, and a .45-caliber handgun was inside the vehicle, O’Connor said.
Officers spotted the vehicle about an hour and a half later near Torrey Pines Drive and Smoke Ranch Road, O’Connor said.
Police followed the woman and pulled her over when she turned into an alley in the 2300 block of North Jones Boulevard, O’Connor said.
Officers, with the help of the crisis-intervention team, gave Edwards multiple verbal commands as she sat in the car with the driver-side window partially down, O’Connor said.
Edwards never spoke to officers during those 31 minutes, O’Connor said.
It’s unclear whether gunfire from all five officers hit Edwards after she got out of the car and pointed a gun at them, O’Connor said.
Investigators found the .45-caliber handgun on the ground near her body after the shooting, she said.
Other than minor offenses, police said Edwards did not have a criminal record in Las Vegas.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson was on the scene Saturday as officers investigated the shooting, O’Connor said.