Las Vegas, NV – The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released video Thursday of a knife-wielding man who seemed immune to de-escalation tactics and less lethal weapons.
It was the police department’s third officer-involved shooting in 48 hours (video below).
“In my 28-plus years here, I don’t recall us having this many [officer-involved shootings] in such a short period of time,” Clark County Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly told reporters at a press briefing.
“It’s unfortunate, but when you have individuals out there that are trying to cause harm, as a police agency it’s our job to take action to mitigate that threat,” he added.
The latest incident unfolded at about 12:40 p.m. on Aug. 6 when officers arrived to conduct a welfare check on a man in the Kensington Suites apartment building at 2200 W. Bonanza Road, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The security officer who called police said that 62-year-old Spurgeon Daniels had been running around the apartment complex naked and had flooded his apartment.
He was also making vague threats of harm to himself and others, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
“The person reporting told dispatch he was afraid something bad may have happened to Daniels because he was not answering the door,” Sheriff Kelly said.
When officers trained in crisis intervention arrived on the scene, they could hear Daniels moving around inside his apartment but he wouldn’t answer his door.
Concerned for the man’s well-being, police made entry to the apartment at about 12:55 p.m., the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Bodycam video showed that when police entered Daniels’ apartment, he was standing behind his kitchen counter and didn’t have any pants on.
He was babbling incoherently and holding his right arm behind his back, the video showed.
In the video, the officers told Daniels they just wanted to talk to him.
“I’m relaxed! I don’t need to talk to you!” he responded angrily.
The officer tried to talk the man down, but he was irate, the video showed.
“Those who have eyes can see,” the man yelled at the officers.
“Those who have ears can listen,” Daniels said as he began making his way around the kitchen counter and toward the officers, the video showed.
He told officers he didn’t want or need to talk, but stopped moving toward them for a few seconds.
The video showed that one officer had a beanbag shotgun pointed at Daniels, and another officer had a Taser pointed at him. Between the officers and Daniels was trash, furniture, and debris all over the floor of the wrecked apartment.
“We’re too close for this, guys,” one officer can be heard saying on the video. Then both officers began to back away from Daniels toward the door of his apartment.
“Keep your Taser ready,” one officer said in the video.
The officers told Daniels not to move, and warned him the Taser would hurt. But he continued toward them.
“Stop! Stop right there,” the officer ordered Daniels. But the man did not stop.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer David Stockton deployed his Taser at Daniels, but it malfunctioned. So a sergeant handed Officer Stockton his Taser to use and the officer deployed that, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Daniels bent over when he was hit, but continued moving toward the officers, swinging his arm with a utility knife in it. One officer was cut in the hand.
The two Tasers that did deploy didn’t stop Daniels, the assistant sheriff said.
“If [neuromuscular incapacitation] had occurred, the individual would’ve locked up and would’ve been unable to move,” Sheriff Kelly explained.
“Drop the knife!” officers ordered multiple times as the bodycam showed Officer Stockton backed up and out the front door of the apartment.
Outside the door, at least three other officers were waiting with their weapons drawn, the video showed.
The officers yelled warnings of “crossfire” at each other as Daniels proceeded through the doorway.
Then the bodycam ended, stopping short of showing the actual shooting.
The officer who was cut was transported to the hospital where he was treated and released, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Sheriff Kelly pointed out that if Daniels had survived the shooting, he would have faced charges of battery with a deadly weapon and assault with a deadly weapon on a protected person.
The sheriff said that investigators were looking into whether Daniels had a history of mental health problems.
You can see the video of the incident below: