A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper reportedly was in critical but stable condition early Wednesday. The trooper sustained injuries after getting struck by a car driven by an apparent carjacker on Interstate 15. It took place near the Las Vegas Strip at about 12:30 pm Tuesday, and the female driver was later shot dead by police on the highway, according to local media.
After the driver appeared to be reaching for the trooper’s firearm, she was shot multiple times by other troopers, based on initial reports. Police believe she also was armed with a knife, the reports add.
Troopers fired between 20 and 25 shots at the suspect, KLAS, a local TV station, said, based on information from an eyewitness. Neither the injured trooper nor the deceased suspect were immediately identified.
It appears the female carjacker initially was pursued by Department of Parole and Probation officers stemming from an earlier incident, KLAS reported. The police chase lasted about 20 minutes, KLAS said.
The trooper was standing outside of his police cruiser in the southbound lanes of the highway when he was injured by the car. The car may have been in a spin at the time.
The trooper was trying to set up spikes to demobilize the carjacker’s vehicle when the impact occurred.
The I-Team has obtained additional video from the scene today.
Ada Burns & her husband tell me they saw the trooper laying down spike strips.
— Vanessa_Murphy (@Vanessa_Murphy) July 28, 2021
Forced Through Windshield
After getting struck, the force pushed the trooper through the car’s windshield, KLAS said. A description of his injuries was not immediately available.
A Metro police helicopter landed on the highway and transported the trooper to nearby University Medical Center, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, based on information from an unnamed police source.
Soon after the trooper arrived at the hospital, numerous police officers gathered there and waited to hear about his condition, the Review-Journal said. The trooper’s family was also at the hospital.
Witness Milton Burns told KLAS he saw the trooper place spikes on the highway, and then saw the car strike the trooper.
Ah man, it was just crazy!” Burns told KLAS. “… That was the craziest part of it all, just watching half of a body out of a windshield, just being like a ragdoll, just going back and forth.”
At one point, Interstate 15 was completely closed between Flamingo Road and Charleston Boulevard, and was blocked in other locations, too. Northbound lanes reopened first. Then, southbound lanes reopened.
The incident apparently led to congested local roads in the area around the Strip, such as Sahara Avenue. Several casinos are located nearby.
Recent Violence Against Police Officers
In an unrelated incident earlier this month, a Las Vegas Metro police officer was hospitalized with a gunshot wound.
The shooting occurred over July 4 weekend. Police were on Al Davis Way near Allegiant Stadium to investigate a disturbance. The off-Strip stadium is just west of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
During the incident, police took a man into custody when he allegedly grabbed an officer’s gun during a struggle and fired a shot that struck the officer. He was hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries.
Lyndon Troung, 28, was charged with battery with use of a deadly weapon on a first responder, battery resulting in substantial bodily harm, and resisting a public officer with a firearm, according to the Review-Journal.
Also, in June 2020, Metro Officer Shay Mikalonis was seriously injured from gunfire as he apprehended unruly protestors near Circus Circus Hotel & Casino.
Mikalonis suffered extensive injuries. He is believed to be paralyzed from the neck down, KVVU, a local TV station, reported.
He received post-hospital treatment at a Colorado rehabilitation facility and has returned to Las Vegas. Community fundraisers have held to assist the officer.
Charges are pending against the alleged shooter, Edgar Samaniego.
Samaniego pleaded not guilty last September to several charges. They include attempted murder with a deadly weapon, battery with a deadly weapon, and three counts each of assault with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm within a structure/vehicle within a prohibited area, KLAS said.
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