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May 23, 2019

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Security guard fatally shoots man in downtown altercation

Fatal Shooting at Binions

Wade Vandervort

An investigator inspects a piece of clothing where a man was fatally shot by a security guard near the Fremont Street Experience, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019.

Updated Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 | 12:13 a.m.

Fatal Shooting Downtown

An investigator works a crime scene where a man was fatally shot by a security guard in front of Binion's, downtown, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. Launch slideshow »

A security guard shot and killed a man during a confrontation Thursday afternoon at a bus stop just outside the Fremont Street Experience, according to Metro Police.

The fatal round blasted about 2 p.m. on Casino Center Boulevard and Fremont Street, a few feet from the iconic LED-lighted canopy, Lt. Ray Spencer said.

The security guard, a man in his late 40s, was cooperating with detectives, Spencer said.

Detectives released him after interviewing him, Spencer said late Thursday. Like in any potential self-defense case, the information would be turned into the Clark County District Attorney's Office to review whether a crime was committed. 

Available details Thursday afternoon were scarce, but Spencer said that prior to the confrontation, the security guard — an independent worker under contract by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada — was patrolling the area near the bus stop benches.

During the altercation, which turned physical, the guard pulled the trigger, firing off a single round that dug into the man’s chest, Spencer said.

A preliminary account suggested that the men may have been struggling over the gun, but those details had not been confirmed early in the investigation, Spencer said.

The gunshot victim — described only as a local transient in his early 40s — died at University Medical Center, Spencer said.

Investigators were combing through security footage and interviewing multiple witnesses, some of whom were on a bus passing by when the shooting occurred, Spencer said.

Officers and security blocked off a small area, and foot traffic continued to flow under the canopy. Zip line riders buzzed above.

"The safety and security of our passengers and operators remain our utmost priority," an RTC spokesperson wrote in an email, noting that the transportation commission employs Allied Universal as a private security company to patrol the transit system and its facilities.

In a written statement, Fremont Street Experience operators thanked law enforcement and extended sympathy to the loved ones of the shooting victim.