Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 | 7 p.m.
After a “close quarter” fight with a traffic cop in a central valley neighborhood Saturday morning, the suspect lay on the ground — apparently subdued.
But seconds later, Demontry Boyd, 43, emerged and again charged at the Metro Police officer, prompting him to bring him down with bullets, according to body-camera footage from the incident broadcast Tuesday by Clark County Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman.
A “bulky item” around Boyd’s waist, which had caused Officer Paul Bruning to become alert, escalate his commands and not approach him when he lay on the ground, ended up being a homemade knife, Zimmerman said.
Prongs that Bruning, 48, deployed from his stun gun — which the officer and suspect at one point wrestled over — attached to Boyd’s clothing, but not his body, something the officer did not seem to be aware of, Zimmerman said.
Bruning, a motorcycle officer with 13 years of experience, had just completed a wreck investigation when a light blue Infiniti FX35 whizzed by a couple of residential neighborhoods, Zimmerman said.
That’s when Bruning followed, zig-zagging to catch up to the speeding, reckless driver he pulled over a few blocks later on 18th Street and Sunrise Avenue, Zimmerman said.
Bruning told dispatch the compact SUV was not registered, although investigators later learned it had been loaned to Boyd by a family member, Zimmerman said.
“Whose car is this,” Bruning is heard asking. “Do you always drive like that?”
Apparently Boyd asked why he was pulled over. “Because you’re driving recklessly. Get out, keep your hands out of your pocket and walk [over] here,” Bruning said.
When asked what’s on his hip, Boyd said it was a battery pack, but ignored multiple commands to keep his hands away from it, causing the officer to try to put him in custody.
That’s when the first fight ensued.
The struggle caused Bruning’s camera view to become obstructed by his tan shirt. A surveillance camera partially pointing to the shooting scene captured a clearer image.
At some point, Bruning fired his stun gun, the weapon Boyd would try taking from him before the shooting.
It wasn’t clear how Boyd’s torso ended up under the car, but his legs were sticking out. Zimmerman said Bruning deemed it unsafe to approach him to place him in custody, because he wasn’t sure if the suspect was armed.
Fifteen to 20 seconds later, Boyd emerged from underneath the vehicle and got into a fighting stance before he rushed and attacked Bruning.
Boyd said, “It’s on now,” according to Zimmerman.
Before the two gunshot blasts during a struggle, Bruning in the video could be heard warning Boyd with “don’t you dare” and “I’m going to shoot you.”
Boyd, a convicted felon with a lengthy criminal record in California, had the “opportunity to give up or flee if he wanted to, but charged at the officer (instead),” Zimmerman said.
In the seconds leading up to the shooting, sirens from officers Bruning requested as backup could be heard approaching. Officers arrived just as the gunfire erupted.
This was the 22nd Metro-involved shooting this year and Boyd the 12th suspect to die as a result, Zimmerman said.
Bruning, who was not injured, was placed in routine paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.