Las Vegas police video shows moment officer was shot during traffic stop
May 31, 2023, 3:03 PM
(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP)
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas police lapel videos played Wednesday during a public review of evidence in a September 2022 shooting showed the moment an officer was shot and wounded during a pre-dawn traffic stop and the dramatic aftermath as her partner rushed to her side to apply a tourniquet.
Officer Tierney Tomburo, 24 at the time, immediately fell to the ground and returned fire, fatally striking a man who had taken off on foot shortly after the officers pulled over an SUV with a burnt-out headlight near the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus.
Tomburo fired four rounds from the ground before dropping her handgun.
“Shots fired, shots fired, shots fired,” a breathless Tomburo said into her radio. She screamed, and her body camera tilted upward, capturing the dark sky.
The public review on Wednesday was held because the Clark County district attorney’s office decided earlier this year that Tomburo was justified in her use of force and will not be charged in connection with the shooting on Sept. 10, 2022.
Gabriel Charles, 27, of Las Vegas, died at a hospital shortly after the shootout. Had Charles survived, authorities said he would have been charged with attempted murder on a protected person and battery with a deadly weapon, among other felony charges.
Police have said Tomburo and her partner — identified by authorities only as Officer Dueñas — were patrolling the area around the college campus when they stopped the SUV and asked the three men inside to exit the vehicle because the driver did not have a license.
Charles, who had been in the front passenger seat, stepped out of the vehicle, walking slowly at first around the back of the SUV before he took off running through the parking lot of an apartment complex. He isn’t heard saying anything in Tomburo’s lapel video in the moments before he decided to run.
Tomburo chased after him, and within seconds, Charles turned toward the officer and fired at least once, hitting Tomburo in her left leg and breaking her pelvis.
Back at the site of the traffic stop, Dueñas’s lapel video shows he was handcuffing one of the two remaining men near the hood of their patrol car when the gunshots rang out. Tomburo screamed.
“Bro, make sure she’s cool,” one of the men can be heard saying to Deuñas, who drew his weapon. “I’m standing right here. I’m not leaving. We don’t have weapons.”
As Dueñas reached Tomburo, looping a tourniquet around her thigh, police sirens in the distance grew louder.
“I got you,” Dueñas said.