LAS VEGAS — A man ambushed two officers who’d stopped their patrol car at a traffic light Sunday in Las Vegas, police said.
An officer who was shot in the hand was being treated at a hospital, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sgt. John Sheahan said. He was in good condition.
“Luckily — I want to repeat, luckily — our officer was only hit in the hand. It could have been much, much worse,” he said.
Police haven’t released the identity of the suspect. The suspect gave authorities multiple addresses and was “not very forthcoming as far as identity, as far as where he lives,” the sergeant explained, “That’s been pinned down now.”
The Clark County, Nevada, district attorney will elaborate during a news conference Tuesday, Sheahan said.
The officers were in a marked patrol car, police said, responding to a disturbance call at a 99-cent store. As they sat at the intersection in front of the store, waiting for the light to change so they could turn, the suspect apparently walked into traffic with a .40-caliber handgun and “fired off more than a couple” of shots at the officers, Sheahan said.
“They were ambushed on the way to that call,” he said.
The suspect took off, and the patrol car’s driver, who was not shot, chased and caught the suspect in a nearby parking lot, Sheahan said. Witnesses saw the suspect “throw the weapon up against the curb as he ran into the parking lot of a nearby 7-Eleven,” he said.
“I want to stress what type of restraint our officers used in not opening fire on this subject,” he said.
Undersheriff Kevin McMahill also praised the officers, saying they showed “remarkable restraint” when they took the suspect into custody.
“These officers are going out there and being attacked while they are sitting in a police car, and we didn’t fire a single shot back at him,” he told KSNV-TV.
The department has changed the way it deploys officers, sending out two-officer units “because of the narrative of violence against police across the country,” McMahill said.
“We are certainly working on pins and needles,” he told KSNV. “(That is) part of the reason we doubled them up. So we have two officers available immediately whenever an incident occurs.”