Las Vegas Sun

February 17, 2019

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Police: Officers shoot suspect after kidnapped woman escapes

NLVPD Discuss Monday's OIS

Steve Marcus

North Las Vegas Police Chief Pamela Ojeda responds to questions from reporters during a news conference at the North Las Vegas Detective Bureau Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Ojeda briefed reporters on on Monday’s officer-involved shooting.

NLVPD Discuss Monday's OIS

North Las Vegas Police Chief Pamela Ojeda briefs reporters on Monday's officer-involved shooting during a news conference at the North Las Vegas Detective Bureau Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Launch slideshow »

A woman who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted escaped her captor, whom officers shot to death Monday after he refused to give himself up, according to North Las Vegas Police.

Officers subsequently found another woman dead under a bed at the man’s house near Lake Mead Boulevard and 5th Street, police said.

After escaping the house, the surviving victim, 35, went to a police station about 8:20 p.m. Monday and reported what had happened, Police Chief Pamela Ojeda said. The woman said the suspect, Horacio Ruiz-Rodriguez, 37, might have a gun, Ojeda said.

The woman said Ruiz-Rodriguez kidnapped, sexually assaulted and threatened to kill her, and she told officers she learned about a slain woman under the suspect’s bed, Ojeda said. It wasn’t clear if she saw the body or was told about it.

Officers, including a crisis negotiator, arrived at 2109 Glider St. and found a “visibly agitated” Ruiz-Rodriguez in a car, Ojeda said. He ignored police commands and said he had a gun, she said.

A police sergeant positioned his car behind the vehicle to prevent Ruiz-Rodriguez from leaving, Ojeda said.

It wasn’t clear how long police tried to negotiate with Ruiz-Rodriguez, but he started the car and was shot about an hour after the woman reported the assault, Ojeda said. Police originally said he’d rammed some vehicles, but that proved to be inaccurate.

Four officers opened fire when Ruiz-Rodriguez reached for his waist, Ojeda said. Police found a black cell phone near his body but no gun, she said.

Citing an open investigation, Ojeda did not say how the slain woman died. She said the women knew each other, and the surviving victim knew Ruiz-Rodriguez. The officers were identified as Anthony Watkins, 47; Robert Knickerbocker, 45; Edwin Corales, 45; and Tanner McAninch, 26.

Watkins fired his gun five times, Knickerbocker twice, and Corales and McAninch six times each, Ojeda said.

The shooting wasn’t captured on video. Within a couple of months, North Las Vegas officers are scheduled to be equipped with body-worn cameras.

Ruiz-Rodriguez had in the past been arrested in a prostitution investigation, a narcotics case and for allegedly providing false statements to police, Ojeda said.

Had he survived, he would have faced counts of murder, sexual assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping and obstructing, Ojeda said.