Las Vegas Sun

August 28, 2014

Currently: 77° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Cellphone mistaken for gun in latest officer-involved shooting, Metro reports

Image

Brian Nordli

Metro Police investigate an officer-involved shooting Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at the Oasis Ridge Apartments complex, 3040 E. Charleston Blvd.

Updated Tuesday, June 4, 2013 | 4:23 p.m.

Metro Police video

Oasis Ridge Apartments

An investigation is underway into a Tuesday afternoon incident in which a Metro Police officer shot at — but missed — an unarmed man.

Deputy Chief Al Salinas told reporters this afternoon police had responded shortly after 2 p.m. to the Oasis Ridge Apartments complex, 3040 E. Charleston Blvd., near South Eastern Avenue. An out-of-state parent had called police to report a family member at the complex was suicidal. When police arrived on the scene, the man began tossing baseball- and softball-sized landscaping rocks at the officer and his patrol vehicle. As a backup unit was arriving, the first-arriving officer began to drive around to get at the man from another side.

At this point, Salinas said, the man reached into his pocket and pulled out what officers described as a "dark object" and pointed it at police as if it were a firearm. An officer shot at the man, who fell to the ground. Officers then arrested the man.

The man was not shot and was not injured. The "dark object" turned out to be a cellphone. All told, Salinas said, the entire incident lasted less than five minutes.

As the investigation continues into the officer-involved shooting, Salinas said the man – whose identity had not been released – could be charged with assault with a deadly weapon and battery with a deadly weapon.

Salinas said the officer who fired would be identified, per Metro's policy, within 48 hours.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 9 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Sounds justifiable to me, however the officer needs to be investigated for the missed shot!

  2. Yeah, Clyde...

    We shouldn't pay any attention to this latest episode of Metro madcap gun play involving a citizen with a mental illness emergency.
    Go back to your homes! Nothing to be seen here, right? Quite okay to handle attempted suicide calls by shooting a person for pointing a CELL PHONE their way....truly an excusable thing....so rare...a person with a CELL PHONE, of all things!

    I'm sure that's what their training CALLS FOR, right?

  3. Again, we are CURIOUS how long the officer has been with Metro. Was s/he a new recruit with jitters or a long-time Rambo? Not sure that someone throwing rocks is likely to have a handgun but who knows? Let's not even consider charges re "deadly weapon" when the victim/perp seems to be under extreme stress (suicidal report?) and not working with a lot upstairs. Or does the DA BUDGET continue to allow FRIVOLOUS CHARGES?
    Reminds me when I was stopped. I'm former law enforcement (state and federal), grey/white/silver haired "little old lady" and seldom drive up to the speed limit--I have witnesses. The officer then was loud, abusive, threatening to me--he looked young but may have been around for a few years. He eventually calmed down perhaps concluding that "Gramma" was not gonna do anything reckless to argue a moving violation. Perhaps I'm no longer able to move fast enough to be mistaken as threatening.

  4. Oh my...Salinas is almost as bad as Captain Pat Neville (who incidentally has 'disappeared' from press statements). Does anyone think that Salinas and Moody just happen to look alike...maybe separated by a foot or so in height?

    They may soon be the Sheriff and Undersheriff...can't say they won't be far superior to what Duh-G has running the show now...

  5. BANG BANG! Shot first ask later.

    That's what Metro's saying!

  6. Casper...

    In 'my world', trained law enforcement officers, in broad daylight, when responding to a mental health crisis, are able to ascertain between a cell phone and a gun and whether there's a real or a perceived threat.

  7. I see the trolls are out last night. People the idiot drew out a dark object that looked like a gun and pointed it at officers. Should Metro have waited to calmly ask the suspect to please put down the mystery object to them (at that point) and hope that it was not a gun? What if it was a gun and he killed numerous cops? You put a cops life in question and do not follow orders, you really get what is coming.
    Good job metro, and thank you for all that you do.

  8. The cops thought his hero sandwich was a gun

  9. gmag 5:36 How do I NOMINATE THAT POST FOR THE BEST OF LVSUN????