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Three arrested in fatal shooting of Metro officer

Authorities say officer was attacked by men in his garage


Steve Marcus

A North Las Vegas police officer walks toward the crime scene as police investigate the death of an off-duty Metro police officer in North Las Vegas Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009.

Updated Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009 | 11:19 a.m.

Arrests made in officer's shooting

Three people have been arrested and charged with murder for the death of off-duty Metro Police Officer Trevor Nettleton. He was fatally shot in his garage in North Las Vegas during a shooting that officials are calling a "senseless" crime.

Off-Duty Officer Found Dead

A Metro Police officer carries a bag and a police utility belt as he leaves the area of a crime scene and carries the items to a patrol car in North Las Vegas Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009.  Launch slideshow »
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Trevor Nettleton

Death investigation

UPDATED STORY: Police: 3 arrested in officer’s death have gang ties

Three people have been arrested in connection with the death of a Metro Police officer fatally shot Thursday morning in his North Las Vegas home.

Saul Williams Jr., 20, and Prentice Marshall, 18, were charged with murder in the death of 30-year-old officer Trevor Nettleton, a three-year veteran of the Metro Police department. Marshall was shot during an exchange of gunfire that occurred in the garage of Nettleson's home and was taken to University Medical Center for treatment.

This morning, police announced that the Injured Police Officers Fund has opened an account for Officer Trevor Nettleton's family at Nevada State Bank. The account number is: 602027542.

The IPOF assists officers and their family members with expenses not covered by industrial insurance for serious line-of-duty injuries or a line-of-duty death.

Late Thursday, North Las Vegas Police announced the arrest of a third person, a 17-year-old male whose name was not released because of his age. The teen, a North Las Vegas resident, was being booked into the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center on charges of murder with a deadly weapon, attempted robbery with a weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery, police said.

Williams has been booked into the North Las Vegas Detention Center. Marshall is under police protection at UMC and will be booked when he is released, said Sgt. Tim Bedwell of North Las Vegas Police.

Investigators this afternoon said the shooting at about 12:18 a.m. in the 1100 block of Emerald Stone Avenue was random. Nettleson was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical crews.

At an afternoon news conference, North Las Vegas Police Chief Joseph Forti called the shooting "senseless."

Sheriff Doug Gillespie echoed those sentiments, saying "the Metro family suffered a senseless loss." Nettleton "put service and sacrifice above self," as both a Marine and in his effort to protect his family, Gillespie said.

Evidence that led to the arrests wasn't discussed.

Officers responded to Nettleton's home after receiving numerous reports of gunshots early Thursday in the area of Lone Mountain Road and Bruce Street.

Investigators say Nettleton appeared to have been the victim of a random attack in his garage, possibly in a botched robbery attempt, Bedwell said.

North Las Vegas Police spokeswoman Chrissie Coon said Nettleton and at least one of the suspects fired gunshots.

Nettleton leaves behind a wife and two children, a 1-year-old son and a 2-month-old daughter. Before working for Metro Police, he served at the Bush White House during his last 18 months in the Marine Corps.

Nettleton wasn't in a police uniform at the time of the shooting, Bedwell said.

Police said the officer's family was home at the time.

Neighbor Jorge Revera said the sound of two gunshots woke him up. His daughter, Jenny Martinez, 26, said she heard people running by her bedroom window, which faces the street.

Revera said the gunshots surprised him because the neighborhood is usually calm and quiet.

Neighbor Darrell Southern said he heard three gunshots while watching television and looked outside to see what happened. No one was in sight, he said.

The criminal investigation is being conducted by North Las Vegas Police detectives, Coon said.

Sheriff Doug Gillespie has offered to provide any Metro Police resources needed.

"I've just lost another member of my police family," Gillespie said. "We are out there, keeping the community safe."

Bedwell said whether it is an officer, a relative, or a child, officers investigate any such crime in the same way.

Nettleton "was a hero as far as I'm concerned," Bedwell said. At least one of the two men were armed, but Bedwell said the number of shots fired would not be discussed.

"We're going to continue to follow leads," Bedwell said. "He was protecting his family."

Bedwell said Nettleton's garage door was open when the men entered.

Nettleton was commended two years ago by Metro Police as one of five officers who saved lives, including those of two young children and an elderly man during a fire at the Century Meadows apartment complex in northwest Las Vegas.

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