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April 20, 2019

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Official: Man killed at nuclear site failed to drop object

Test Site Shooting

Nye County Sheriff's Office / AP

This photo provided by Nye County Sheriff’s Office shows law enforcement agents investigate a shooting at the former Nevada Test Site north of Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Authorities shot and killed a man who entered a secured federal site north of Las Vegas where the government used to test nuclear bombs. A spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration says the man failed to stop at the security gate on Monday at the Nevada National Security Site.

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019 | 3:20 p.m.

MERCURY — An aggressive man was killed by officers at a U.S. nuclear security site in Nevada after refusing orders to drop a cylindrical object, authorities said today.

Investigators declined immediate comment on whether the object was a weapon.

The incident began when the unidentified man failed to stop Monday evening at the security gate at the Nevada National Security Site, located 70 miles north of Las Vegas, according to Darwin Morgan, spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Morgan said the trespasser drove 8 miles with officers in pursuit before he parked and approached them with the object in his hand. Deputies and site officers fired at him when he ignored their verbal commands, Morgan said.

The man died at the property formerly known as the Nevada Test Site.

The FBI has been notified and no additional information has been released, Nye County sheriff's Lt. David Boruchowitz said.

Nevada is currently involved in a legal battle with the U.S. Energy Department to block the shipment of a metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium to the site from South Carolina.

Government scientists conduct tests simulating nuclear explosions at the 1,360-square mile site in Nevada that is larger than the state of Rhode Island.