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Pahrump man with gun is shot dead by deputy

There were some tense moments in a north-side neighborhood after a Pahrump man inexplicably began firing a rifle on his property and was eventually shot dead by a Nye County Sheriff’s Office detective.

During a news conference, Sheriff Sharon Wehrly identified the man as Jason O’Bannon, 46.

The incident, Wehrly noted, occurred Thursday, Dec. 6, at 8:12 p.m., on the 2200 block of N. Kelso Way, when Nye County dispatchers received reports of O’Bannon firing off rounds from a 30/30 lever-action Winchester in his yard.

The detective, armed with an AR-15 short-barreled .223 caliber rifle, has been identified as eight-year veteran Wesley Fancher.

“At 8:21 p.m., deputies arrived in the area and immediately reported shots being fired,” Wehrly said.” O’Bannon was screaming at deputies and acting erratically. After deputies arrived, and shots were fired, the SWAT team was activated.”

Wehrly noted that deputies attempted to have O’Bannon surrender peacefully, however he allegedly made several comments insinuating that “that was not going to happen.”

“At 8:31 p.m., the SWAT command arrived on-scene,” she said. “O’Bannon continued firing rounds and when he ran out of ammo, he would reload and begin firing again. At 9:23 p.m., O’Bannon pointed the firearm at Detective Fancher and the detective fired four rounds, striking O’Bannon.”

As paramedics were staged just a short distance away from the incident, Wehrly said medical aid was immediately provided on-scene, where O’Bannon was transported to Desert View Hospital.

“After extensive life-saving efforts, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office was notified that O’Bannon was pronounced deceased at 9:31 p.m.,” she said. “It was reported that no one else was in the residence and the investigation revealed that O’Bannon was alone. Detective Fancher was wearing his body camera during the incident, and it was activated. However, when he went prone on the ground the camera fell off but continued to record audio.”

During the news conference, Wehrly played the body camera footage of the incident, where shots could be heard during the confrontation.

Additionally, Wehrly spoke of an encounter, involving O’Bannon earlier in the day.

“At 10:54 a.m., Nye County deputies responded to the area of O’Bannon’s residence for a report of a mailbox believed to be damaged by Jason O’Bannon,” she said. “Deputies attempted to make contact at O’Bannon’s residence but received no answer. At 7:41 p.m., Nye County deputies responded again to the area of

“O’Bannon’s residence for a report that O’Bannon was yelling and driving his car erratically around the property. If he had survived, O’Bannon’s charges would have been a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, seven counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a protected person, and discharging a firearm across a roadway.”

Sheriff Wehrly also noted that the incident was the sole officer-involved shooting for 2018.

“Detective Fancher is assigned to the general assignment detectives division and also to the SWAT team,” Wehrly said. “Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputies were assisted on scene by troopers from Nevada Highway patrol, the Nye County District Attorney investigators and Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services. Detective Fancher was placed on paid administrative leave as is customary for officer-involved shootings, and an internal affairs investigation will be conducted to ensure agency protocols and policies were followed.”

The Nevada Division of Investigation was also requested by the sheriff’s office to review the fatal shooting.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On twitter: @sharrispvt

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