Man shot, killed in robbery try
Fireworks stand targeted was manned by off-duty police officer
By J.M. KALIL
Las Vegas police staff a fireworks stand at the corner of Spring Mountain Road and Rainbow Boulevard on Wednesday to raise money for a K-9 police dog competition. Late Tuesday, a would-be robber was shot to death by an off-duty officer running the stand, authorities said.
Photo by Ralph Fountain.
An off-duty police officer foiled the heist of a fireworks stand he was manning late Tuesday by shooting and killing a handgun-wielding robber, authorities said.
The 11:30 p.m. shooting unfolded at a fireworks booth sponsored by Las Vegas police to raise money for a K-9 police dog competition.
The Metropolitan Police Department sponsors two fireworks booths annually to raise money for the event, with off-duty officers volunteering their time as salesmen.
"The guy just unfortunately picked the wrong booth to rob," said Capt. Tom Lozich, commander of the robbery-homicide bureau.
Las Vegas police officials said the fatal shooting at the corner of Spring Mountain Road and Rainbow Boulevard remains under investigation, but it appeared the officer's actions were appropriate.
"He took the action that he's been trained to," Lozich said. "The officer, to protect his life as well as the victim he had next to him, took the action that was necessary."
Police said the robber, whose name has not been released by the coroner's office, pointed a handgun at the off-duty officer and his wife in the booth and demanded money.
The officer, in street clothes, pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots at the bandit, killing him.
Lozich said it was not clear whether the officer used his duty sidearm or another weapon.
"We allow our officers alternative weapons, something that's a little more concealable," Lozich said. "They have to go through the same qualification with those weapons."
Police were investigating whether the man killed had robbed workers at gunpoint at a fireworks stand at Flamingo Road and Buffalo Drive about 15 minutes prior to the fatal shooting.
"We believe he is the same suspect," Lozich said.
The Police Department investigates use-of-force incidents regardless of whether the officer involved was on or off duty.
The officer was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a coroner's inquest, where jurors will determine whether his actions were justified, excusable or criminal. The officer's name will not be released for 48 hours.
Paid leave and the temporary withholding of the officer's name are standard department practices in all officer-involved shootings.
Additionally, the officer will face a panel of police employees and citizens who will determine whether his actions were within department policy.
Lozich said several fireworks stands were robbed in the days leading up to the Fourth of July last year, but the Tuesday night robbery and robbery attempt were believed to be the first of this year.
"It's not uncommon because there is money there, and you've got a wide-open area with all escape routes open to you," Lozich said. "Of course, some of these stands have security."
Chalk one up for the good guys. Another shit bag has gone to meet his maker.
I dont really like to hear about anyone dieing, since someone just lost a son/brother/friend... But, when they are stupid enough to rob stands sponsored by the police, then they get what they deserve. Thanks for the news clip wolf, I didn't hear a thing about this until now...
I really DO like to hear about this type of MORON dieing!