Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 | 12:47 p.m.
The Clark County district attorney has cleared Metro Police officers involved in the April shooting death of a 49-year-old woman stopped while driving a stolen car.
District Attorney Steve Wolfson said, based on his office’s review of the case, “the actions of the officers were not criminal in nature.
Shortly after 3:30 a.m. Saturday, April 21, officers spotted a Cadillac that had been reported stolen earlier that morning. The Cadillac owner had told police his onetime girlfriend, 49-year-old Sharmel Edwards, had taken the car and that his .45 caliber pistol was in the center console of the car.
Officers followed the Cadillac to a parking lot in the 2300 block of North Jones Boulevard, where they stopped the car. There, according to several witness accounts, the driver ignored officers’ repeated commands “put your hands out of the vehicle.”
A standoff continued for about 40 minutes when the driver got out of the car and pointed a handgun at officers, who then shot her numerous times, according to police.
Several witnesses corroborated police statements that the woman pointed the gun, while others told the district attorney investigators they did not see a weapon in her hands.
“The police officers gave Ms. Edwards ample opportunity to end their confrontation in a nonviolent manner,” Wolfson said in a statement. “Unfortunately, as numerous witnesses stated, she ignored the officers’ commands and exited the vehicle with a gun drawn. She left the officers with no choice.”
Wolfson’s ruling clears the five officers involved in the incident. They are:
• Officer Melvyn F. English of the K-9 section. He’s been with Metro since March 1992.
• Officer Todd G. Edwards, who has been with Metro since January 2006.
• Officer Christopher M. Grivas, who has been with Metro since December 2005.
• Officer Matthew J. Cook, who has been with Metro since February 2004.
• Officer Truong T. Thai, 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.
Tuesday’s report was the 19th review of officer-involved shootings completed this year by the District Attorney’s Office. The reviews are available online at the district attorney’s website.