A harrowing police bodycam video showed an officer pursuing a pair of murder suspects in a high-speed chase near downtown Las Vegas last week — during which an officer fired 11 shots through his windshield at the suspects, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Police on Monday released the video which showed officer William Umana pursuing Fidel Miranda, 22, and Rene Nunez, 30, last Wednesday and yelling “shots fired, shots fired” into his radio, the paper said.
What led to the chase?
Miranda and Nunez are suspects in the death of 25-year-old Thomas Romero, who was shot multiple times in the chest Wednesday at a car wash, police told the Review-Journal. Romero died that morning at a hospital, the paper said.
Police spotted a 2000 Ford Expedition that matched the description of the suspects’ vehicle just after 9:30 a.m., the paper said, and then the SUV sped off through oncoming traffic while firing at pursuing police, Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly said at a briefing Monday, the Review-Journal said.
When another police cruiser joined the chase, Officer Umana warned his fellow officer to stay back, the paper said — and that second officer’s cruiser was hit by bullets at least twice and couldn’t finish the chase.
Umana, 43, pulled his vehicle closer to the SUV and fired 11 shots through his windshield, the Review-Journal said.
The officer also fired seven shots through his open window, the paper said.
The suspects fired 34 rounds during the pursuit, Kelly told the paper, while officers fired 31 shots.
What happened at the end of the chase?
One of the suspects — Nunez — exited the vehicle while it was still moving near an elementary school and ran up the school’s steps in an attempt to enter, but the door was locked, Kelly told the Review-Journal.
The other suspect — Miranda — moved to the driver’s seat and tried backing up toward Umana, who left his vehicle and continued firing at the SUV.
The plainclothes officer Paul Solomon, 46 — who was not wearing a bodycam — approached the passenger-side door of the suspects’ vehicle and fired his shotgun once, hitting Miranda, the Review-Journal said.
Miranda was handcuffed while medical was called but was soon pronounced dead at the scene, the paper said, adding that Officers Umana and Solomon were not injured.
Police arrested Nunez, who had gunshot wounds from the pursuit or from a shooting earlier that morning, the Review-Journal reported.
One civilian’s car was struck by gunfire, Kelly told the paper.
What happened to the suspect who survived?
Nunez is accused of stealing the SUV on May 20 in North Las Vegas, Kelly told the Review-Journal, adding that one of the guns Nunez used during the chase had been reported stolen May 20.
Nunez faces multiple charges of murder with a deadly weapon and attempted murder with a deadly weapon, the paper said, adding that he was in jail Monday without bail.
Miranda and Nunez had aliases — “Cabezon” and “Kreeepper,” respectively, which could be gang-related — Kelly told the Review-Journal.
What was said about the officers?
Kelly characterized the actions of Umana and Solomon as heroic, the paper said.
Referrring to Umana, Kelly said he “could have backed off, but he didn’t.”
(H/T: Blue Lives Matter)