August 12, 2008

Witness: Police Shot Bound Man

MAGGIE LILLIS
Las Vegas Review-Journal
August 5, 2008

Roxanne Lewis still has questions about why Las Vegas police shot and killed a man on her doorstep late Sunday.

Police said two officers scuffled on the ground with the man, who fired a gun once while reaching for an officer’s gun. Another officer then shot the man, who later was pronounced dead at University Medical Center.

Lewis, however, says police shot a man whose arms were bound.

Lewis, who lives in the Spring Point apartments near Pecos Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, was asleep on the couch when she heard a shot at her doorstep.

When she opened the door, she found a police officer on top of the man, whose arms were bound, she said.

Police ordered Lewis to close the door, but she continued to watch events unfold from a bedroom window.

“The way they had him, he couldn’t move,” she said. “He never said anything or moved. That’s why I don’t know why they shot.”

She said she then saw the officer fire two shots at the man. Although she couldn’t see his face, Lewis said she could tell he was still breathing when paramedics arrived.

“They shot that baby in the head,” she said, re-enacting where the second officer stood during the scuffle.

Two Las Vegas police officers were patrolling the area near Pecos Road and Las Vegas Boulevard North about midnight when they tried to stop three men on foot.

Police said one of the men kept walking while moving his hand toward his waistband and pulling out a handgun. The officers brought the man to the ground and struggled with him to force him to release the gun.

Police said the man fired his gun once and tried to grab an officer’s gun with his free hand. Identities of the gunman and the officer who fired the fatal shot were not released.

Police said the officers were in the area for routine gang enforcement but did not reveal why the men were under suspicion.

Lewis said she didn’t know the man but knew he had been in town for two weeks from California. She said she saw him earlier in the day leaning against a car talking on his cell phone.

“Everybody here is upset. He didn’t have to die,” she said.

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