Officials air findings in Nevada shooting that left 4 dead

Jan 23, 2023, 4:15 AM | Updated: 7:32 pm

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Authorities aired the results Monday of the investigation of an Election Day 2020 police shooting that killed a man in a vehicle after the man killed two women, wounded a teenage girl and abducted a 12-year-old boy who died when he was shot as police approached.

The hearing about the Henderson police shooting of Jason Neo Bourne, a 38-year-old who changed his name because he admired a movie character, suggested that Bourne shot the boy several times, including in the head, after police opened fire into the boy’s family’s Cadillac Escalade.

Bourne, sitting in the driver’s seat, fired seven shots with a .40 caliber handgun, according to evidence presented by Henderson police Detective Richard Christopher, the only investigator questioned during the hearing dubbed a public fact-finding review.

The proceeding, overseen by an attorney former state Assembly member and presented by a county prosecutor, did not conclusively answer whether one or more of the 27 shots fired by police struck the boy sitting in the passenger seat next to Bourne — who continued talking with a 911 dispatcher until gunfire erupted and was heard exclaiming “Yeah,” as officers began a second volley of fire.

However, “We believe Jason Bourne was responsible for the boy’s wounds,” Christopher said after summarizing results of autopsies of the four people who died that day.

Killed were Dianne Hawatmeh, 38, the boy’s mother; family housekeeper Veronica Muniz, 33, of Las Vegas; and the boy, Joseph Hawatmeh. The boy’s 16-year-old sister was shot several times and remains a paraplegic, family attorney Roger Croteau said Monday.

“We’re not making a statement one way or another who shot Joseph,” Croteau said following the emotional four-hour proceeding at the Clark County Commission auditorium.

Croteau is handling a federal lawsuit that the boy’s father, Iehab Hawatmeh filed in October in Las Vegas against Henderson police, departmental supervisors and the seven officers who fired shots that day.

“We do know that (police) took the first shot,” the attorney said. “One second later, the car was lit up with … contagion firing. They rushed the vehicle and didn’t wait for SWAT or a negotiator to arrive.”

Bourne was armed with a .40-caliber handgun, and police used 9mm handguns and .223-caliber tactical rifles. Medical examiners did not retrieve identifiable bullets from the boy’s body, according to the investigation.

The non-judicial public review is provided by Clark County law instead of a coroner’s inquest following a police-involved death if the district attorney makes a preliminary finding that involved officers will not face criminal prosecution. The officers themselves do not take part.

Police body-worn camera video and 911 audio aired Monday offered a heart-wrenching and dramatic account of 30 minutes of confusion that officials said may have stemmed from Bourne’s anger about a noise complaint that his downstairs neighbors made days before the shooting.

It also highlighted apparent delusions and ramblings of a man who called police 911 from the Escalade, changed the pitch of his voice several times, identified himself variously as a character from the future, “not from this planet” and the super villain Bane from the movie, “Batman,” and demanded that police provide him with a helicopter within minutes.

Joseph Hawatmeh could be heard in the background as Bourne abruptly interrupted apparent train-of-thought comments to the 911 dispatcher several times, uttering the phrase, “XM Satellite Radio 1.1 Gigawatts.”

Bourne had no criminal history and legally purchased his gun before he legally changed his name in 2014 from Christopher Curry, said Christopher, the police detective.

Bourne served nearly 15 years in the U.S. Air Force in various countries before being honorably discharged in 2017, Christopher said. He was a disabled veteran whose roommate, a retired Air Force member, told police was writing a book, regularly used marijuana and sometimes covered apartment windows fearing that others could see in.

The police detective said Bourne’s computer files showed he “strongly believed in QAnon theories,” including “that celebrities wear lifelike masks but are actually politicians that were part of a secret pedophile society that controlled the world.”

Among Bourne’s handwritten notes, Christopher found references to Bourne calling himself a superhero saving the world.

Iehab Hawatmeh dabbed his eyes several times as he sat through the four-hour proceeding with Croteau with three other family members.

Croteau later said they were not surprised by the material presented to the public. He said he believed the family has a strong wrongful death, negligence and civil rights case against police in federal court.

Attorneys representing Henderson have filed documents seeking the dismissal of the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified unspecified monetary damages. Court hearings have not been scheduled.

“As difficult as the situation was, my client believes the death of his boy wasn’t necessary,” Croteau said. “His family has suffered badly.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Zoubin Ghahramani, vice president of research at Google, speaks at the Google AI@ event on W...
Associated Press

Google has the next move as Microsoft embraces OpenAI buzz

Before the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT was unleashed into the world, the novelist Robin Sloan was testing a similar AI writing assistant built by researchers at Google.
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Group’s lawsuit seeks to void Washington transportation law

A conservative legal advocacy organization is suing to halt the nearly $17 billion transportation funding bill passed by the Washington Legislature and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last year.
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Cops searching for 3 missing rappers find ‘multiple bodies’

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (AP) — Authorities searching for three aspiring rappers who have been missing for nearly two weeks found “multiple bodies” Thursday at a vacant Detroit-area apartment building. State police cautioned that the identities of the bodies had not been confirmed. “Please remember all victims have families, and we don’t have the luxury of […]
20 hours ago
This photo provided by Adriana Medina shows Guillermo Medina and his wife, Adriana, with their chil...
Associated Press

Recording: Wife told police mentally ill husband had gun

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police in Culver City, California, released body camera footage Thursday showing events before officers shot an unarmed man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in the back last year, including audio recordings of his estranged wife telling police he was armed and dangerous. In the footage, officers are seen chasing after Guillermo Medina […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

UN envoy: Iraq’s new leaders must keep fighting corruption

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. special envoy for Iraq urged the country’s new government Thursday to keep fighting corruption and move quickly on much-needed economic, fiscal and financial reforms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told the U.N. Security Council many other areas also need immediate government attention, among them ensuring human rights, resolving issues with the Kurdistan […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Voters wait in line outside a pavilion at Center Street Park shortly before the polling site...
Associated Press

Trump campaign staff on 2020 election lies: ‘fan the flame’

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A newly released audio recording offers a behind-the-scenes look at how former President Donald Trump’s campaign team in a pivotal battleground state knew they had been outflanked by Democrats in the 2020 presidential election. But even as they acknowledged defeat, they pivoted to allegations of widespread fraud that were ultimately debunked […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Officials air findings in Nevada shooting that left 4 dead