Published Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 | 4:45 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 | 10:30 p.m.
Henderson Police shot a man Wednesday afternoon inside an Albertsons grocery store after he raised what appeared to be a handgun at SWAT personnel. Detectives later determined the piece to be a pellet gun.
About 3:30 p.m., Henderson Police received reports of a man armed with a gun walking into the restroom in the back of the Albertsons at 190 N. Boulder Highway, near Lake Mead Boulevard, said Henderson Police spokesman Keith Paul.
When officers arrived, Paul said, they evacuated the store and approached the restroom to try without success to talk to the man. SWAT officers arrived shortly after and again tried to talk with the man in hopes of ending the stand-off peacefully.
Around 4:15, the man slowly pushed the door open with the gun raised at Henderson SWAT personnel, forcing them to fire in self-defense, Paul said. The man was shot by three officers and was transported to Sunrise Hospital and was last listed in critical condition.
Paul said police were initially told by store security that the man had a child hostage with him, but upon entering the restroom after the shooting, no child was found. Instead, an infant-sized doll and the man’s belongings were discovered on the changing table.
Police didn’t know the man had a pellet gun because it was made to look like a real semi-automatic handgun, Paul said. An examination of the firearm after the shooting revealed the man's pellet gun.
As of Wednesday night detectives were still trying to identify the man.
Outside the Albertsons in the shooting's aftermath, at least 11 police units and scores of onlookers stood by. Albertsons employees could be seen in an area just outside the store, but police would not allow reporters access to them.
Anthony Alers, a manager at the AT&T store across the parking lot from the Albertsons, said a woman came into his store about 3:40 p.m. She told Alers there was a man in the grocery store with a gun. Alers said he called 911 to report the incident, and dispatchers told him police already had been notified and were on their way.
Alers said the woman, who was not identified, told him she was shopping in Albertsons when a P.A. announcement advised all of the shoppers to come to the front of the store and leave.
At 7 p.m., the store remained closed while police continued to process the scene. Paul said he did not know when the store would be ready to reopen.
The three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation into the shooting continues, Paul said.