LAS VEGAS, Nev. (CBS) — What the local sheriff says were two protest-related shootings in Las Vegas Monday night left a Las Vegas police officer on life support and resulted in the death of a suspect at another scene.
Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters in an overnight briefing that the demonstrations “led to” both incidents.
He said officers were attempting to disperse a large crowd of demonstrators in front of the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino on the Vegas Strip and were being hit with rocks and bottles form the crowd. While trying to detain some people, Lombado said, “a shot rang out and our officer went down.” The officer was on life support and a suspect was in custody.
Downtown, city police and federal officers were posted at the stairs of the federal building to protect it from protesters when a man with “multiple firearms who appeared to be wearing body armor” reached for a firearm, Lombardo said. He was shot by an offier and pronounced dead at a hospital.
“This is a sad night for the (local police) family and a tragic night for our community,” Lombardo said. “With these protests, which are leading to riots, one tragedy is only leading to another. … What has occurred is utterly unacceptable. I hope the community sees it that way, too.”
The demonstrators were protesting the killing of George Floyd at police hands in Minneapolis.
Protesters have been rallying for days across the country over the death of George Floyd, who was seen on video pleading that he couldn’t breathe with a white police officer pressing his knee into his neck for several minutes before he stopped moving.
Police in Vegas said Monday that 338 people were arrested during three nights of demonstrations. Officers used tear gas and pepper balls to disperse crowds late Saturday downtown and Sunday on the Las Vegas Strip.
Police said suspects were jailed despite a local court policy calling for most people accused of misdemeanor crimes to receive court summonses instead of time behind bars to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.