Reno Police Officer Fighting For Life, Shootout
A veteran police officer is in Intensive Care after a downtown shootout early Sunday morning.
The shoot-out happened just before 5:00 AM at Sierra and Second Streets when two Reno Police Officers investigating a domestic disputecame across a suspect driving a stolen car.
Multiple shots were fired and both the suspect in the car and one of the officers were taken to Washoe Medical Center where they are being treated for multiple gunshot wounds, including head injuries.
We spoke to residents and workers in the area who were close by as officers cleared the scene.
Andrew Crain from the West 2nd Grill and Bistro, "I'm just glad that nobody that I know or care about was hurt. But this is Downtown Reno and anyone can roll in here from Sacramento you know, an ex-con. It's scary, but I'm glad no one I know was hurt. I feel bad for the officer, but I'm just glad my people were okay."
While Andrew Crain was talking in generalities, at this time we have very little information about the suspect in this case. Officers do not know if the domestic incident and the shooting are connected.
A multi-agency investigation team made up of officers from the Reno Police Department, Sparks Police Department, and the Washoe County Sheriff's Office is looking into the incident.
The officer and the suspect are in intensive care with multiple gunshot wounds and injuries to the head.
The other officer was not injured.
Mr Crain sounds like a fine upstanding citizen.
Task Force Investigating Reno Police Shooting
An investigation continues into a shooting that left two men seriously injured, one of them a Reno police officer.
The incident began at the corner of Second and Sierra Streets early Sunday morning when two Reno police officers noticed a stolen truck sitting at the stop-light. When they confronted the driver, 23-year-old Adolfo Benny Carreras, the situation turned violent.
Lieutenant Ron Donnelly says the officers recognized the stolen vehicle from an earlier report and approached it with officer Al Del Vecchio on the drivers side and rookie officer, Justin Bradley on the passenger side.
Donnelly says Del Vecchio, a convicted felon, attempted to gain control of Carreras' hands, but he was able to break free, grab a handgun and shoot Del Vecchio in the face. "There was an altercation, he reached up and shot the officer, the other officer shot him."
Del Vecchio and Bradley, a recent graduate of the police academy, returned fire, striking Carreras numerous times.
Six other officers, three of them rookies with only months on the job, converged on the scene, calling for ambulances and checking the conditions of both the officer and the suspect.
Both men were taken to Washoe Medical Center where Carreras is recovering from four gunshot wounds.
Officer Del Vecchio suffered a gunshot wound to the face. Donnelly says the bullet shattered several bones, but did not cause brain damage. "He can talk, he can write notes to his family, he can move."
Del Vecchio previously worked for the Sparks Police Department, and was hailed as a hero after a shooting in 1995 that claimed the life of Sparks' officer Larry Johnson. It was Del Vecchio who shot and killed parolee Donald Cameron after Cameron robbed two businesses at gunpoint and then opened fire on police.
In the current case, an investigative team comprised of officers from Sparks Police and Washoe County sheriffs departments, as well as attorneys from the Washoe County District Attorney's office, will examine the circumstances of the shooting. The DA's office will determine what charges will be filed.
Both men are listed in serious condition at Washoe Medical Center.
Carreras is reportedly conscious and able to move. Officer Del Vecchio's family has been with him since the shooting, and officers say he is doing fine.
Six officers remain on administrative leave with pay and will receive counseling before they come back to work.
Damn, two shootings in 10 years.
A telling example of the mindset of the "man on the street"?