Las Vegas Sun

December 9, 2022

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Police: Man shot dead outside Las Vegas gun range had criminal history


metro police

In a screen grab, a man who attacked a Metro Police officer outside a Las Vegas gun range is shown being shot.

As a suspect was attacking a Metro Police officer with a screwdriver outside a Las Vegas gun range Wednesday, her colleague and three employees pulled out their guns.

When the injured officer fell to the ground, the suspect, Marvon Payton Jr., turned around and appeared to try to run away before he was gunned down, according to surveillance footage broadcast today.

Payton, who was hit 14 times, died outside The Range 702 indoor shooting facility, where he’d been accused of trying to steal a gun, according to Zimmerman.

Officer Andrew Nguyen fired nine rounds, but it wasn’t clear how many bullets the two employees who also opened fire had shot, said Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman Monday, noting that he doesn’t recall a similar incident ever happening in Las Vegas.   

Payton, 27, had a prior history of violence against officers in North Las Vegas, where he once was accused of trying to kill one. 

Click to enlarge photo

Marvon Payton Jr.

The officer he would’ve been accused of trying to kill last week — if he would have survived — suffered at least one stab wound and a broken bone in her face. She’s since been released from University Medical Center, said Zimmerman, who didn’t name her.

Surveillance video broadcast Monday shows how quickly the fatal shooting unfolded. The officers didn’t activate their body cameras, Zimmerman said.

A gun owner taking a class at the firing range reported that Payton had tried to steal his gun from a bag, Zimmerman said. Police were called, and three employees escorted him outside to wait for the officers. 

The injured officer and Nguyen pulled up, got out of their cruiser and called on Payton to approach them, according Zimmerman. When he disobeyed their order, they went to him and tried to grab him by the arms. 

At that time, he pulled out a screwdriver from his jacket and began swinging at the female officer, footage shows. 

Zimmerman said Payton had a history of violence against police, including an attempted murder of a North Las Vegas Police officer and battery on an officer. He may have also been suffering from a mental illness.

The case will be sent over to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, which will determine if any criminal charges are filed against the surviving parties. But the civilian gunmen, who also weren’t identified, acted at the same time as Officer Nguyen because they’d seen the same danger, Zimmerman said.

“Looking at the video, they saw the same thing our officers did,” Zimmerman said. “Their involvement actually helped our officer and could’ve saved our officer’s life.”

This was Metro’s first police shooting of 2021.