LAS VEGAS, NV – An officer-involved shooting that happened in Las Vegas on September 8th resulted in a wanted sex offender being shot and killed by police after reportedly advancing on officers with a knife.
Police recently released the body cam footage in connection with the incident that showed the moments prior to the officer firing his weapon.
It happened late Tuesday night when a man with a knife was shot and killed on Las Vegas Boulevard south of Sahara.https://t.co/RvGF1RnDaF
— KSNV News 3 (@News3LV) September 12, 2020
The deceased suspect was identified as 37-year-old Matthew Patton, whom officials from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department described as being a violent sex offender wanted on an active warrant.
At the time of the incident, according to police, Patton was armed with a knife when police attempted to detain him.
Assistant Sheriff Chris Jones shared the body cam footage with members of the media during a press conference that was held on September 11th, while also sharing the visual perspective from the LVMPD’s air unit during the time of the incident.
Police had first encountered Patton during a traffic stop, where the officer who enacted the stop asked Patton to get outside of the vehicle:
“I want to get this straightened out and I would feel more comfortable talking to you outside the car ok?”
It was at that point that after running the name of the suspect, police had realized thahe was a wanted sex offender from Utah. But upon learning about the suspect’s wanted status, Patton reportedly fled the scene, which prompted a police pursuit.
The vehicle was eventually disabled via a combination of a PIT maneuver and spike strips, and Patton had then exited the vehicle while allegedly armed with a knife. Chatter obtained from the helicopter stated the following:
“He’s on the sidewalk just south on the Boulevard. He’s not cooperating. He’s rolling up his sleeves like he wants to fight officers.”
One of the officers present at the time that was pursuing Patton on foot can be heard yelling at the suspect to drop the weapon:
“Drop that knife, drop that knife! Drop it, I will shoot you!”
According to LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Jones, Patton then lunged at officers while armed with the knife:
“As Mr. Patton ran, a K9 sergeant released his dog. Mr. Patton dodged the dog and again charged officers from behind a palm tree. Officer Hilton, officer Ward and officer Grazioso fired their weapons at Mr. Patton striking him several times.”
The suspect was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene, with no other injuries reported from the incident. Sheriff Jones preemptively addressed concerns of whether there was any possible caveats associated with multiple officers firing weapons during the press conference:
“You heard the officers talking about crossfire. As [the suspect] came around the tree, they were shooting across the street. That is a concern, that’s something our critical incidents review team will examine closely as they do interviews with these officers.”
Following standard protocol, all the officers involved in the shooting have been placed on a paid administrative leave following an investigation into the shooting.
In other police investigations, authorities in Cleveland, Ohio are working a case that resulted in a police detective and an informant getting murdered.
With three suspects in custody related to the shooting deaths of Cleveland Police Detective James Skernivitz and informant Scott Dingess, the mother of the 15-year-old that has been implicated in the murders spoke out about the charges against her child.
The woman had wished to remain anonymous when speaking with a local news crew about her son’s alleged involvement in these murders.
Seeing that the suspect is also a minor under the age of 17, the identifying details of the accused are also sealed.
— Ed Gallek (@edgallekfox8) September 10, 2020
Police have filed charges against an 18-year-old and 17-year-old in the case as well, identified as David McDaniel Jr. and Kevin Robinson. Both McDaniel and Robinson are facing charges related to murder in the case.
Investigators suspect that this wasn’t a case of the teens targeting the police detective because he was a police officer, but rather it was some kind of robbery gone fatally awry.
However, charging documents also suggest that the two juveniles arrested should have known that Detective Skernivitz was an officer.
The mother of the 15-year-old in custody believes that her son got roped in with a bad crowd that evening, being led to the scene of the crime under false pretenses:
“Whatever them other kids did, they got him in a bad situation. They lied to him. They told him that he was going to get marijuana… He’s not that type of person. He had never done nothing like this.”
Considering the allegations levied against the three suspects, the 18-year-old could be facing the death penalty, whereas the juveniles could be looking at life in prison (assuming they are tried in the adult court system).
The youngest alleged offender’s mother insists that her son does not “deserve” any sort of life sentence:
“That’s sad. He doesn’t deserve that. He’s not that type of person.”
Despite coming to the defense of her child, the woman also acknowledged that two lives were taken and that families are mourning their loss as a result:
“I’m deeply remorseful for them two families because nobody should lose their life…ever.”
A grand jury is expected to review the charges against 18-year-old McDaniel and determine what will be prosecutable, whereas the two juveniles in the case will have their fates determined in the coming months by the Juvenile Courts to see if they’ll be tried as adults.
Here’s our previous report on the case as it was actively developing.
CLEVELAND, OH – Three teenage suspects, charged with the murder of Cleveland Police Detective James M. Skernivitz and informant Scott D. Dingess, have all been arrested and are in CPD custody.
Detective Skernivitz was working undercover during a narcotics investigation. Dingess, said to be an informant specifically for this investigation, was with him in a vehicle parked on West 65th Street on the evening of September 3rd.
They were preparing to conduct a drug deal. The two men were murdered when three teenage boys walked up and eventually opened fire on the vehicle, in what police say appears to have been a robbery attempt.
There were no other police officers nearby at the time of the shooting.
Multiple sources: third suspect in deadly police shooting case has now been arrested—another juvenile
— Ed Gallek (@edgallekfox8) September 8, 2020
Three teens have been charged in the killing of a Cleveland police detective and his informant.
Three teens have been charged in the killing of a Cleveland police detective and his informant.https://t.co/4Ni1VAfRr0
— WFIN News (@WFINradio) September 8, 2020
WJW Fox8 reported that one of the teens, officially an adult at 18 years of age, is David McDaniel Jr. He is charged with two counts of aggravated murder.
The other teen, still a minor, is 17-year-old Kevin Robinson. He has been charged with murder, aggravated murder, felony assault, and aggravated robbery.
The two teens were initially arrested as “persons of interest.” They were officially charged when surveillance video, showing them entering and then fleeing the area, was recovered near the scene in the West Side neighborhood, in addition to tips submitted via the established tip lines.
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The third teen is a juvenile, at 15 years old. His identity has not been made public because he is under 17. He was the final person of interest that authorities were searching for, and turned himself in for arrest on Wednesday afternoon, after charges had been formally filed.
His family arranged a meeting with law enforcement at a West Side convenience store. Family members brought him to the store, where they were met by U.S. Marshalls and CPD officers, who took him into custody.
Arrests, Charges Announced in Murder of Officer, Citizen https://t.co/1lcQSJQKfe
— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) September 8, 2020
Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin D. Williams, F.B.I. Special Agent in Charge Eric Smith, and Crimestoppers Cuyahoga County Captain Richard McIntosh issued brief statements together concerning the case.
Mayor Jackson began:
“The Cleveland Division of Police, their federal and local partners worked together on this case. I continue to ask that you join me in offering condolences to the family of Detective Skernivitz, his wife and their children.”
Chief Williams added:
“I want to commend the investigators in this case who dedicated every waking moment to ensure that the individuals responsible for this terrible crime were properly identified and taken into custody. I am thankful to the citizens who came forward with information.
Furthermore, I want to thank the community members who have offered their kind words of support and prayers. They are truly appreciated.”
Special Agent Smith followed up:
“It is with a heavy heart that we make the announcement of the three individuals arrested believed to be responsible for the shooting death of our law enforcement colleague, Detective James Skernivitz.
The swift investigation completed by law enforcement, with numerous tips provided from the community, has been commendable – a true partnership.
These three individuals will be held accountable for their heinous actions. Our continued thoughts and prayers to the Skernivitz family and our partners at the Cleveland Division of Police.”
Captain McIntosh concluded:
“The excellent work of law enforcement has made the city safer for its citizens.”
I’d like to begin today by offering my deepest condolences to @CLEpolice, as well as friends and family of Det. James Skernivitz, who was killed in the line of duty last week. pic.twitter.com/YsJcJrOLyK
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) September 8, 2020
— Mike Vielhaber (@MVielhaber) September 9, 2020
The Cleveland Police Department, in coordination with the FBI and Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County, saw numerous tips being called in since raising the reward to $35,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killers.
Though they already had two of the suspects in custody before doing so, more evidence needed to be gathered in order to file charges that would hold up in court. After police recovered surveillance video near the scene of the murder, they were able to successfully place the suspects at the scene, with additional information provided by some of the tips.
According to his obituary: Detective Skernivitz, 53, leaves behind a wife and three children. He also leaves behind a mother, a brother, in-laws, an uncle, a cousin, and many friends.
The drug sting that the detective was working undercover in, was a local Operation LeGend effort. He was assigned to the Gang Impact Unit, and the group that he was monitoring was apparently involved in drug trafficking.
Operation LeGend is a multi-state, multi-city, multi-agency initiative seeking to reduce violent crime through various local, state, and federal collaborations.
The operation was named after four year old murder victim, LeGend Taliaferro, who was shot in his Kansas City home while sleeping earlier this summer.
The funeral for Detective Skernivitz is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 10.
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