NATIONAL NEWS

Reno police officer who accidentally shot suspect pulled trigger when hit by another officer’s Taser

May 28, 2024, 2:20 PM

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A Reno police officer accidentally shot an unarmed suspect in 2020 when he flinched and pulled the trigger on his service revolver in an inadvertent response to being stuck by a Taser fired by another officer, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks cleared Officer Richard Jager of any criminal wrongdoing with the release of a report on the investigation of the non-fatal, officer-involved shooting. The neighboring Sparks Police Department led the investigation.

The suspect, Christopher Sheahan, was treated at a hospital and survived the single gunshot wound to the shoulder. He was found guilty of one count of resisting a public officer in February 2022 and ultimately sentenced to one day in jail, Hicks said.

Jager, who was in his second week on the job after recently graduating from the law enforcement academy, was treated at a local hospital where the Taser probe was removed from his knee. No one else was hurt.

The shooting occurred on July 26, 2020, when several officers surrounded Sheahan, who was failing to comply with their commands in a parking lot following a traffic incident. Sheahan told the initial responding officer he had some mental issues, and he exhibited erratic behavior, including removing clothing during the confrontation, according to the investigative report.

Eventually, Washoe County sheriff’s deputy George Cholico, a 15-year veteran of the force, “reasonably” concluded the only way to gain Sheahan’s compliance was to utilize his Taser, Hicks wrote in the report.

“Unfortunately, Deputy Cholico’s Taser partially missed its target, with a single Taser probe striking Officer Jager in the right knee. The embedding of the Taser probe into Officer Jager’s knee caused him to flinch and inadvertently pull the trigger of his firearm resulting in a single bullet strike to Sheahan’s right shoulder,” Hicks said.

“The evidence from the entirety of the investigation demonstrates that Officer Jager’s discharge of his firearm was not willful, but accidental. In other words, Officer Jager lacked the willful intent to shoot Sheahan,” he wrote.

Hicks said the investigation of the shooting and subsequent evaluation of whether any criminal charges were warranted included the review of hundreds of pages of reports and documents, interviews with police and witnesses, as well as photographs, 911 calls, video recordings and an examination of the shooting scene.

Hicks said that Sheahan told investigators during an interview while he was recovering at the hospital that he failed to follow the officers’ commands multiple times. He said he was trying to let officers know he did not have any weapons by emptying his pockets.

“Sheahan acknowledged that `I should have just listened to the officer’s orders and not gotten out of my car and freaked out like I did,'” Hicks wrote. He also apologized and expressed “his gratitude to the officers administering first aid and `saving my life.’”

National News

Associated Press

2 people were taken to a hospital after lightning struck a tree near a PGA Tour event in Connecticut

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Two people were taken to the hospital Saturday after lightning struck a tree near a home along a golf course that is hosting the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship. The home is just north of the fifth green at TPC River Highlands, which is hosting the tournament one week after the U.S. […]

60 minutes ago

Associated Press

Rains, cooler weather help firefighters gain ground on large wildfires in southern New Mexico

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — Recent rains and cooler weather are helping more than 1,000 firefighters gain ground on two wildfires in southern New Mexico on Saturday that have killed two people, destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands to flee. Fire crews took advantage of temperatures in the 70s, scattered showers and light winds to […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

One dead, seven injured after shooting at Kentucky nightclub

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — One person is dead and seven others were injured after a shooting at a Kentucky nightclub early Saturday morning, authorities say. Louisville Metro Police Department officials said they responded to a call of several people shot at the H20 nightclub in Louisville just before 1 a.m. One man, 40-year-old Joseph D. […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Man trying to drown 2 children on Connecticut beach is stopped by officers, police say

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A man trying to drown two small children at a Connecticut beach early Saturday morning was thwarted by police officers, according to authorities. An officer spotted an SUV parked on a beach in West Haven at about 2:30 a.m. and heard “significant screaming” from the water as he approached. As […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Senate in Massachusetts passes bill curtailing use of plastics including bags, straws

BOSTON (AP) — The state Senate in Massachusetts has passed a wide-ranging bill curtailing the use of plastics, including barring the purchase of single-use plastic bottles by state agencies. The bill, approved Thursday, also bans carry-out plastic bags at retailers statewide and require stores to charge 10 cents for recycled paper bags. It also requires […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Flooding forces people from homes in some parts of Iowa while much of US broils again in heat

Floodwaters forced people out of their homes in parts of Iowa, the result of weeks of rain, while much of the United States longed for relief Saturday from yet another round of extraordinary heat. Sirens blared at 2 a.m. in Rock Valley, Iowa, population 4,200, where people in hundreds of homes were told to get […]

9 hours ago

Reno police officer who accidentally shot suspect pulled trigger when hit by another officer’s Taser