Las Vegas Sun

August 18, 2018

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Innocent bystander killed in central valley shootout

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 | 11:50 p.m.

A stray bullet that originated from an apparent drug-related shootout between two groups struck and killed a man who’d just stepped outside his apartment to feed stray animals Tuesday night in a neighborhood north of the Strip, according to Metro Police.

The Hispanic man in his 30s — who was hit in the chest and died at the scene — is “truly an innocent victim. It’s very difficult to talk to (his) family,” said Lt. Dan McGrath via online briefing.

Officers responded to the shooting about 7:50 p.m. in the 200 block of West New York Avenue, near Industrial Road and Wyoming Avenue, and found the man’s body, Lt. Isaac Auten said.

Very quickly, officers determined that the shootout had occurred near 230 West Chicago Ave, the next street over, McGrath said. The bullet traveled maybe 50 to 60 yards through an alley and hit the man, who was carrying leftovers when gunfire erupted. “An innocent victim just happened to step outside and walked down a couple of steps and looks like he got struck as he’s stepping down the stairs,” McGrath said.

The outdoor shootout between two groups originated near a drug house that had been known to police and that had been under investigation, to include air surveillance, McGrath said. Details late Tuesday were murky, but the shooting involved at the least three men.

Detectives on late Tuesday were attempting to locate surveillance systems in the area and were knocking on doors, said McGrath, who also asked for the public's assistance.

At least eight to 10 bullets flew through the neighborhood, and three men, described as possibly being Hispanic wearing hooded sweatshirts — two black and one red — were reportedly seen running in the area around the time of the shooting, McGrath said. Someone reported seeing an unknown SUV leaving the area.

The house that had been under investigation was frozen pending a search warrant, but officers who went inside to make sure there wasn’t anyone else wounded, reported seeing drug paraphernalia, McGrath said. Several drug-related arrests have been made in the area and investigators are probing names they’ve gathered from interviewing neighborhood residents.

It wasn’t certain late Tuesday if the residents of that residence were involved in the shooting and the investigation was ongoing, said McGrath, who expressed sadness that an innocent man lost his life.

"It's really unfortunate to have to be out here for something like this. But we're going to put our best effort forward to solve this case and hopefully bring some justice to the family and the survivors of this man who was killed for no reason," McGrath said.

Further details were not immediately available.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Metro at 702-828-3521 or via email at [email protected] To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 or online at crimestoppesrofnv.com.