Las Vegas Sun

November 25, 2014

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Police cleared in shooting of stranger discovered by homeowner on couch

Metro Police have been cleared in the shooting death of a stranger who a homeowner discovered sitting on his couch wearing only underwear and socks, the Clark County District Attorney’s Office announced today.​

The actions of the officers involved in the July 23, 2013, death of Southaly Ketmany were reasonable and legally justified, a report from the DA said.

According to the report, a Las Vegas resident came home at 5:01 p.m. to find a stranger, later identified as Southaly Ketmany, sitting on his couch wearing only underwear and socks and watching television while holding a knife.

The resident had never seen Ketmany before, but it was later discovered that Ketmany had been reported missing by his ex-wife and had been involved in four other criminal activities in the same area earlier that day, according to the report.

The resident called police, who confronted Ketmany inside the home. Ketmany, who was armed with a knife and a hammer, did not comply with the officers’ commands, even after a SWAT team had entered the home, the report said.

Attempts to subdue Ketmany with a Taser and rubber bullets were also not successful, officials said.

Officers had initially tried to make contact with Ketmany by playing a recording in which his wife pleaded for him to leave the residence, but that attempt failed.

Two police officers, Doug Ericsson and Jay James, shot Ketmany a combined total of seven times as he ran toward them, the report said.

Ketmany was also tased two times as he fought with paramedics who tried to help him. He was taken to University Medical Center where he died from his injuries.

Ketmany, who lived in Sacramento, was visiting Las Vegas with family and friends and then went missing a few days before the fatal confrontation.

At 7:45 a.m. that day, a woman had called police after she spotted Ketmany peering through her living room window, which had broken during a storm and had been boarded up.

At 7:48 a.m., a woman reported to police that a man, who appeared to be mentally ill or under the influence, had jumped the fence into her backyard, the report said.

Responding officers could not locate Ketmany.

Ketmany was reported missing by his ex-wife at 1:46 p.m. after the friends he was visiting called to tell her that they hadn't seen him since 6 a.m. that morning, the report said.

He appeared to be disoriented at the time, as he was hiding in the bushes with a large knife.

At 2:10 p.m., a woman called police after she found men's clothing in her backyard. She believed they belonged to an Asian male who had been reported missing by police earlier in the day, the report said.

Friends of Ketmany say that a lost child custody battle two weeks earlier had driven him into depression and drug use, according to the report.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson said the officers had “no choice but to defend themselves. While it is certainly sad whenever someone loses their life, I am thankful that the homeowner and the officers were not injured that day.”

This is a developing story. Check back for more.

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