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Police fatally shoot teen armed with knife; boy identified

Friends say Tanner Chamberlain was a junior at Chaparral High

Shooting

Kyle B. Hansen

Metro Police investigate after an officer fatally shot a teenage boy Tuesday night in the eastern Las Vegas Valley. Authorities said he held a knife to a woman’s throat.

Updated Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009 | 1:12 p.m.

Shooting

Metro Police investigate after an officer fatally shot a teenage boy Tuesday night in the eastern Las Vegas Valley. Authorities said he held a knife to a woman's throat. Launch slideshow »

Officer-involved shooting

A Metro Police officer Tuesday night shot a teenage boy who authorities say had his arm around a woman's neck while holding a knife.

Police were called at 5:13 p.m. to the apartment complex at 4855 Vegas Valley Drive, at Aloha Avenue near Nellis Boulevard, Capt. Randy Montandon said.

They found the teen, identified Wednesday by the Clark County School District as Tanner Chamberlain, with a knife and a woman struggling on the ground outside an apartment building, police said.

The officer shot the boy one time in an effort to protect the woman, Montandon said.

"I personally saw the knife," said Montandon, captain of Metro's robbery and homicide unit. He described the weapon as larger than a kitchen knife.

Friends of Chamberlain, who they identified as a 16-year-old junior at Chaparral High School, described him as easy-going on Tuesday night.

Friends said he had recently appeared as Oberon in a play of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," but also said there had been recent troubles at home.

One of Chamberlain's friends, 15-year-old Scott Landreth, said Chamberlain was planning to go to college and study business.

"He was a good friend, a great guy," Landreth said. "He's going to be missed."

Neighbors next door to Chamberlain's apartment called Landreth and another friend after they heard a commotion and a shot fired.

"Everyone has troubles these days, with the economy and all, but he was better off than most," Landreth said.

The officer involved in the shooting has been put on paid administrative leave and won't be identified for 48 hours, per department policy, Montandon said.

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