A Las Vegas Metro police officer was legally justified in shooting a person who matched the description of a double homicide suspect but was never charged in the case, the district attorney ruled.
In releasing his conclusion Wednesday, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson noted the man shot in the Oct. 21, 2013 incident ignored the officer's commands and appeared to have been reaching for a weapon.
The shooting took place at a 7-Eleven in the area of Nellis Boulevard and Stewart Avenue, police said. According to investigators, Officer Jason Evans approached Antoine Hodges because the man resembled the suspect in a double slaying that took place two miles away the night before.
"Mr. Hodges backed away from the officer, ignored his commands and reached behind his back," Wolfson remarked in his ruling. "Fearing for his life and the safety of others in the 7-Eleven, the officer fired a single shot."
Hodges was wounded in the abdomen but survived the shooting.
After the shooting, another officer who was rendering aid to Hodges found a baggie of marijuana in his pockets, the district attorney said in the ruling. An additional bag of marijuana was also concealed in Hodges' buttocks, a district attorney's office report said.
Hodges' attorney filed a complaint against Metro, claiming negligence, assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment.
"Here the officer escalated the situation, had no backup, went in there and confronted, had his gun ready to fire," said Hodges' attorney Cal Potter. "It wasn't a situation where he was following his training."
The complaint names the police department, Evans and Sheriff Doug Gillespie as defendants.
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