A wild, newly released body camera video shows a Las Vegas cop open fire on a murder suspect through his windshield during a car chase in the downtown area of the city late last week. Check out the footage above.
Las Vegas Cop Shoots Through Windshield
ABC affiliate KTNV says that at around 7:25 a.m. on July 11, Las Vegas police were dispatched to a murder call in which a man, later identified as 25-year-old Thomas Romero, was shot multiple times at a car wash by another man. The suspect then fled the scene in a black Ford Expedition being driven by an accomplice.
At around 9:30 a.m., officers observed a vehicle matching the description of the one involved in the shooting. When they tried to get the vehicle to pull over, the driver instead stepped on the gas pedal and took off, sparking off a vehicle pursuit.
During the car chase, the suspects opened fire on the pursuing officers. Officer William Umana returned fire, shooting at the suspects several times through his windshield. Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly of the Las Vegas Metro Police Department told Fox 5 Vegas the suspects fired a total of 34 rounds at the officers. Umana fired a total of 31 rounds during the chase.
The Chase Ends
Eventually, the pursuit ended when the suspects crashed their vehicle into a wall Hollingworth Elementary School. Kelly said one suspect, ID’d as 30-year-old Rene Nunez, got out of the vehicle and started running up the steps to the school. The door to the school was locked. Police quickly caught up to him and placed him under arrest.
When Nunez exited the Ford Expedition, the passenger, 23-year-old Fidel Miranda, slid over to the driver’s seat and started moving the vehicle closer to an officer’s car. Officer Paul Solomon pulled out a duty shotgun and fired once at Miranda, stopping the vehicle.
Miranda was placed in handcuffs and given medical attention for the shotgun blast. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Nunez also sustained gunshot wounds as a result of the incident. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.
Both Miranda and Nunez have extensive rap sheets. Miranda has previously been arrested for robbery; kidnapping; grand larceny auto; and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. He also drug arrests on his record.
Nunez, meanwhile, is a three-time convicted felon. His record includes arrests for robbery with a deadly weapon; robbery; and grand larceny auto. He has been charged with open murder with a deadly weapon; attempted murder with a deadly weapon on a protected person; discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle; carrying a concealed weapon; and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
The officer-involved shooting is currently being looked into by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department. Both officers are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
“Regarding shooting at or from a moving vehicle, our policy reads in part, it is policy of this department that officers will not discharge a firearm at or from a moving vehicle unless it is absolutely necessary to preserve human life,” Kelly said.
“In my opinion, they show a level of bravery, professionalism, heroics, that we come to expect of our officers,” Kelly said of Umana and Solomon. “The officer could have backed off, but he didn’t. He stuck with that individual knowing what type of individual he was dealing with.”