Las Vegas Sun

April 25, 2019

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Officers who shot man had pleaded with him to drop gun, police say


Steve Marcus

Metro investigators walk under under police tape at the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Elcadore Street in a neighborhood near Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway Friday, Jan. 26, 2018.

Man Kills Wife, Shot Dead By Police

Metro Police and crime scene analysts investigate at the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Elcadore Street in a neighborhood near Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. Launch slideshow »

After fatally shooting his wife in a south valley house occupied by his three young children and teenage stepson, the gunman loaded five bullets into his revolver, expressing “suicide by cop statements” before fleeing to a nearby neighborhood, Metro Police said today.

And despite desperate pleas from an unidentified officer a couple of hours later after the early Friday shooting, Axell Vivas, 42, brandished that same gun, pointing it at police.

Vivas’ brief but dramatic encounter with police was captured on footage released Tuesday by Clark County Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman.

“Let’s talk about this. I don’t want to hurt you,” a police negotiator could be heard yelling in the video. “I don’t want to shoot … I don’t want to. Come on man! Please, let’s talk … come on bro! Come on, let’s talk.”

Then gunfire broke out, leaving Vivas gravely wounded with gunshot wounds to his hand and the side of his head, Zimmerman said. He did not open fire.

Officers and medics were dispatched at 12:08 a.m. to 11729 Giles Street, near Las Vegas Boulevard, north of Cactus Avenue, Zimmerman said. A 16-year-old boy told a 911 operator that Vivas had shot his mother.

The woman died at the scene, and while homicide detectives were investigating, officers canvassing the neighborhood spotted Vivas sitting in a parked car on Elcadore Street, a street over from the murder scene, Zimmerman said.

About 2:40 a.m., officers found Vivas. Four minutes later, he got out of the car, firearm in on hand and acting "highly agitated," Zimmerman said.

As police pleaded with him to drop the gun, he disobeyed, took cover, and "popped" up at least two times, pointing the gun at officers, Zimmerman said.

At 2:47 a.m., Officer Celina Cruz, 30, armed with a shotgun, and Officer Anthony Raymond, 33, armed with a rifle, opened fire, Zimmerman said. Cruz pulled the trigger three times, and Raymond 11.

Zimmerman began the presentation of the information with remarks about domestic violence.

“We encourage any person who’s involved in a domestic-violence-type relationship to call us, call a friend or call any other resource that’s out there to get out of that sort of relationship,” Zimmerman said. “Because a lot of these domestic-violence homicides could be decreased if people involved in those relationships do seek help and we want to also intervene before the tragedy that occurs.”

Cruz and Raymond were placed on paid administrative leave as Metro policy dictates.

Vivas, who did not have a previous criminal history, had lost his job sometime prior to the shooting, Zimmerman said. Although the married couple had problems, no one had called police to report them.

He legally owned the gun, Zimmerman said.