Driver arrested after 2 troopers killed in hit-and-run on Las Vegas freeway, police say

Nov 30, 2023, 8:55 AM | Updated: 3:50 pm

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Two Nevada state troopers in Las Vegas were killed in a hit-and-run Thursday while helping another driver on the state’s busiest freeway, authorities said.

Las Vegas police Undersheriff Andrew Walsh confirmed at a mid-day news conference that a suspect had been taken into custody hours after the crash. But he did not release the driver’s name or say what charges the suspect faces.

“Right now during this very tragic time, the Nevada state police is going to need that love and support from the community more than ever,” Walsh said.

Around 3:30 a.m., police said, the two officers had stopped to check on a driver who was asleep behind the wheel on Interstate 15 near downtown Las Vegas when a white Chevrolet HHR struck them both.

The driver did not stop, said Deputy Police Chief Branden Clarkson.

One trooper was pronounced dead at a hospital. The other died at the scene.

The slain troopers’ names have not been released, but Clarkson described them as husbands with children.

Investigators found the Chevrolet unoccupied at a nearby apartment complex around 8 a.m., Clarkson said. He did not say how the suspect was found.

Local TV coverage showed the bodies of both troopers being escorted by an officer procession to the Clark County coroner’s office, where dozens of law enforcement officers saluted as the bodies were brought inside. The office said Thursday afternoon that it was still investigating and could not yet identify the troopers.

Gov. Joe Lombardo, who said he was “profoundly saddened” by the deaths, ordered all U.S. flags in Nevada to be flown at half-staff until the troopers’ funerals.

“This is a devastating loss for Nevada law enforcement, the city of Las Vegas, and our entire state,” Lombardo said in a statement. “As we mourn these troopers, we will never forget their bravery, courage, and sacrifice.”

A stretch of the highway and several on-ramps were shut down for hours after the deaths, snarling traffic for miles.

In 2021, not far from where the two troopers were killed Thursday, another state trooper was struck and killed on Interstate 15 during the pursuit of a stolen vehicle. The carjacking suspect, who led officers on a chase throughout Las Vegas and neighboring North Las Vegas, hit trooper Micah May while he was putting down a tire-deflating device across freeway lanes.

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Driver arrested after 2 troopers killed in hit-and-run on Las Vegas freeway, police say