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May 28, 2015

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Police had contacts with troubled veteran before deadly shooting

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Leila Navidi

Rudy Gibson, the brother of Stanley Gibson, listens during the first Police Fatality Public Fact-finding Review concerning the Dec. 12, 2011 shooting of Stanley Gibson by a Metro Police officer at the Clark County Government Center in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013.

Police Fatality Review: Stanley Gibson

Rondha Gibson, the widow of Stanley Gibson, listens during the first Police Fatality Public Fact-finding Review concerning the Dec. 12, 2011 shooting of Stanley Gibson by a Metro Police officer at the Clark County Government Center in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Launch slideshow »

More details surrounding the 2011 officer-involved shooting of Stanley Gibson were revealed Thursday during a public hearing of the facts that led the district attorney to not file charges in the death.

Gibson, a 43-year-old Gulf War veteran, was unarmed when Metro Police Officer Jesus Arevalo fired seven shots into the vehicle Gibson was driving in the early morning hours of Dec. 12, 2011.

Thursday morning, Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lalli questioned Metro Homicide Detective Cliff Mogg about the events that led to Gibson’s death as part of the first public fact-finding review into a police shooting.

The review, which replaces the coroner’s inquest process, will not result in any ruling on whether the shooting was justified or unjustified. Instead, it is meant to present the public with the evidence considered by the district attorney when deciding not to charge Arevalo in the shooting.

Mogg’s testimony detailed several missed opportunities to help Gibson, who suffered from severe anxiety and depression, in the days before the shooting.

On Dec. 10, police were called to a distraught Gibson’s apartment near U.S. 95 and Rainbow Boulevard. Police arrested Gibson on a count of resisting officers and transported him to the Las Vegas City Jail for a mental evaluation, Mogg said. Gibson was evaluated and then released the same day.

The next morning, police responded to reports of a man walking in the middle of the street near Jones Boulevard and Vegas Drive.

Officers found Gibson wandering disoriented in the travel lanes and detained him on a psychiatric hold, Mogg said.

Gibson was transported for evaluation to MountainView Hospital but was released within hours of arriving and instructed to check back in at the hospital two days later.

Gibson would have two more interactions with paramedics called to his apartment on Dec. 11, before fleeing the area in his white Cadillac about 6:30 p.m.

Police received several 911 calls that evening concerning Gibson.

Three reported a white Cadillac driving the wrong way down Lake Mead Boulevard and another was from a resident at a nearby condominium complex reporting an attempted burglary, Mogg said.

Police encountered Gibson at the condominium complex and pinned his vehicle in place using their squad cars.

Mogg told Lalli he thinks Gibson was trying to return to his apartment complex, which sits adjacent to the condominiums, and was confused as to where he was.

Armed officers surrounded Gibson, who remained in the trapped vehicle, spinning his tires and revving the engine.

A plan was devised to force Gibson from the vehicle using bean bag rounds and pepper spray, but the plan wasn’t followed by officers at the scene, Mogg said.

Officers were “hasty” in executing the plan and several were out of position, leading to confusion when the initial bean bag round was fired, Mogg said.

“Arevalo didn’t know rounds were being fired; he was not expecting to hear a gunshot,” Mogg said.

The afternoon session of the hearing will include further testimony from a Metro Police officer about a radio system failure that may have contributed to the miscommunication and fatal shooting.

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