VIDEO: Drunk Driver Grabs Gun From Nearby Bush, Opens Fire On Police

Holly Matkin

Police believe Kenneth Busse was committing suicide-by-cop when he pulled a gun out of a bush and fired at officers.

Las Vegas, NV – The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has released bodycam footage that showed a suspected drunk driver firing a gun at an officer after refusing to participate in a field sobriety test (video below).

Officers returned fire, killing the gunman.

During a media briefing on Monday, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly said the incident was a case of “suicide by cop.”

The incident began at approximately 7:12 a.m. on Oct. 10, when Las Vegas Metropolitan police received a report of a multiple-vehicle collision with injuries near the intersection of South Rainbow Boulevard and Gary Avenue, Sheriff Kelly said.

Officer Kenneth Pilette, 52, and Officer Chad Betts, 43, arrived at the scene of the three-car crash, and were told by two other drivers that they believed the “at-fault” driver, 21-year-old Kenneth Busse, “was possibly impaired,” Sheriff Kelly said.

While Officer Pilette continued with the traffic collision investigation, Officer Betts approached Busse and asked him to complete a field sobriety test.

“Busse twice refused to participate in the field sobriety test, and then walked away from Officer Betts,” Sheriff Kelly explained.

Bodycam footage showed Officer Betts as he instructed Busse to place his hands behind his back.

“For what?” Busse asked him. “What light did you say to turn off?”

Officer Betts told him he never asked him to turn off a light, and explained that he was placing Busse under arrest for driving under the influence.

“I’m not impaired though – I’m just driving home from work,” he argued.

When Officer Betts moved towards Busse to take him into custody, the suspect took off on foot towards a bush located about 12 yards away, Sheriff Kelly said.

“[He] bent down, and picked up a black firearm,” the sheriff said. “Busse had hid the firearm prior to officers arriving on the scene.”

When Officer Betts realized the suspect was armed, he immediately ran for cover behind the suspect’s vehicle and alerted his partner.

Busse then “chambered a round” into the handgun, and aimed his weapon at Officer Betts, Sheriff Kelly said.

A moment later, the suspect pointed his weapon at Officer Pilette.

Officer Pilette fired at Busse, but did not hit him, the sheriff said.

Busse then shot at Officer Pilette, who moved behind his patrol car for cover.

Officer Betts fired two rounds at the gunman, who collapsed onto the ground. Both rounds had struck the suspect in the chest.

“Don’t touch it! Don’t touch it!” Officer Betts commanded, as Busse writhed on the ground near the 9mm handgun he had been carrying, the video showed.

Investigators later learned that Busse had 13 additional rounds in the weapon’s magazine, and that his weapon had “locked or jammed” after he fired the single round, Sheriff Kelly said.

“So that is the reason why he was not able to fire off additional rounds,” he explained.

The officers immediately approached the fallen suspect and requested medical assistance over the radio.

Busse was unresponsive when emergency medical personnel arrived, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The officers and citizens at the scene were not injured during the shootout.

“This incident began as a traffic accident, and it’s unfortunate this incident did not end with just cars being damaged and a citation,” Sheriff Kelly said.

Investigators later learned that Busse was suicidal, and that he had made suicidal comments in the past, according to the sheriff.

“And by his actions on the day of the shooting, [he] was suicidal that day,” he said. “While we may not know Busse’s full intention, this appears to me as a case of suicide-by-cop.”

“While we are all glad no one else was injured during this incident, our goal as law enforcement is to never be forced to take the type of action we had to take in this situation,” Sheriff Kelly said.

Officer Pilette, a 20-year veteran of the force, fired four rounds during the altercation, while Officer Betts, who has been with the agency for 19 years, fired two rounds.

Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, as per department protocol, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Busse had received two traffic citations in the past, but otherwise had no known criminal history, according to Sheriff Kelly.

Had he survived, Busse would have faced charges of attempted murder on a protected person, assault with a deadly weapon on a protected person, and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, the sheriff said.

You can see the gunfight in the video below. WARNING - Graphic Content:

Comments (16)
No. 1-10
Officer Cynical
Officer Cynical

That's absolutely getting what you asked for. Great job, Officers!


If I'm not mistaken, Las Vegas PD would prefer their officers try repeatedly to talk a suspect into cooperating rather than go hands on. I hate second guessing any police officer without personally being on scene, but in this case, based on the video, I would have grabbed the suspect the moment I told him he was under arrest. Don't play around. Take control of him immediately. Otherwise, you're giving the person way too much time to think about what they are going to do.


I don't see at all how this is suicidal behavior. He was a drunk who got in a gun fight with police, hid the gun beforehand, his shit jammed, and he got popped. Nothing in this sequence of actions suggests suicide, except for the side note that he may have been suicidal in this article.


That Bic pen is important and expensive, why would he drop the pen? It could have gotten stepped on and broken or lost! He understands what’s important. Pens cost money.

OMG help us! I think that 52 year old officer needs to retire because it is very apparent he has lost his survival edge.


Why in the world didn’t the first Officer to shoot set down the papers in his left hand or simply drop them and take a two-hand grip on his service weapon and deliver much more accurate rounds, than holding the weapon and a pen or something in one hand??? It sure looks like he had something else in his hand in addition to the service weapon!!!

Notice the second Officer to fire took his time, aimed properly and put two rounds on target, just as he was trained to do it!!!! This was the ONLY LOGICAL OUTCOME to the suspect’s actions!!!!


My thoughts exactly!!! One handed grip on your weapon and a pen in your shooting hand because you don’t want to lose your pen or the registration papers??? At this distance, he’d do better throwing rocks!!!

Put that crap down and draw your service weapon and take proper aim and send some accurate shots toward the target!!! If I was the other Officer, I would be livid and I would NEVER GO OUT AGAIN WITH THIS OFFICER UNTIL HE LEARNS WHEN THERE IS A DEADLY THREAT TO YOUR PARTNER, YOU TAKE IT SERIOUSLY AND DROP EVERYTHING ELSE AND DRAW YOUR WEAPON AND GET BUSY!!!!! This Officer needs some SERIOUS TRAINING, BECAUSE HE DOES NOT HAVE THE SENSE TO PROPERLY BACK UP HIS PARTNER, let alone know how to properly fire his service weapon!!!!!!!


Ah well bad guy makes the wrong choice and pays for it. Cops go home! Win win!

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

I thought Hi_Est's comment was a sensible evaluation of the limited info we have so far. I know the late Mr. Busse wasn't suicidal beforehand because gun control laws forbid suicidal people from having access to guns.