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LV Police: Man killed by police was on way to Pahrump

The suspect that was killed in an officer-involved shooting in Las Vegas last week had Pahrump ties, according the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

At a news conference Wednesday, Metro Undersheriff Kevin McMahill discussed various aspects of the incident including that the suspect, James Michael Todora, 54, was in the process of moving to Pahrump.

Todora was pulled over for an inoperative tail light on Sahara Avenue near Lindell Avenue at 9:30 a.m. July 10.

As Todora pulled over he immediately got out of his vehicle and engaged in a verbal altercation with Officer Carlos Luna. In an attempt to defuse the situation and explain why he stopped him, Luna approached Todora, who got back into his vehicle.

After observing the initial incident Officer Brian Kroening, who was conducting a separate traffic stop on Sahara just west of Luna, came over to offer his assistance.

Todora explained he was agitated at police due to an incident the day prior, and mentioned he had a rifle inside his vehicle.

Officer Luna asked Todora to exit the vehicle due to weapons being present and his aggressive attitude, according to police. Todora refused to exit his vehicle and claimed he was going to shoot himself.

Todora then retrieved a 9mm pistol that was hidden under a blanket in the passenger seat and pointed it at Luna’€™s head. The handgun made a click according to the police report, but it did not discharge.

Luna then retreated behind Todora’s vehicle to a position of cover and waited for additional units to arrive.

Todora then fired a round from inside his vehicle which struck Officer Evan Hogue, who was exiting a marked unit that had just arrived to assist.

Officer Kroening, who was now at the passenger side of Todora’s vehicle, began to engage the suspect with his duty weapon. Officer Kroening fired three rounds striking Todora and then subsequently retreated to a position of cover and waited for additional units to arrive, according to Metro.

After additional units arrived they formed an arrest team and took Todora into custody and summoned immediate medical attention. Todora was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel.

Body camera footage of the incident was also played for the media at the news conference. Based on the fact that the suspect in this incident is deceased and this video will not be used for prosecutorial purposes, the Department is able to release the body camera footage, police said. This is the fourth officer-involved shooting and second suspect fatality of 2015 in Clark County.

 

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