Published with permission from the Las Vegas Review Journal. Original story here
A Metropolitan Police Department field training officer and his trainee fired 26 shots during a shootout in a North Las Vegas residential neighborhood.
William Alfredo Chafoya, 37, was struck by 19 shots fired by the officers in the Monday confrontation. Ashley Elizabeth Olivetti, 31, who was with Chafoya, was struck in the arm by an officer’s round during the crossfire, Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo said at a briefing Thursday. Initial reports said she was shot by Chafoya.
Fasulo said Chafoya fired five shots during the encounter — at least one into the air and then in the direction of the officers.
The assistant sheriff said the officers’ use of lethal force was a split-second decision required by the presence of two bystanders in front of the home on the 4600 block of North Goldfield Street, near Lone Mountain Road.
“The people who were in the front of that house could have been shot,” Fasulo said.
Both suspects are in stable condition at University Medical Center and have been booked into the county jail in absentia, Fasulo said.
The incident began about 5 p.m., as officers Tyler Hebb, 35, and Brandon Foster, 22, were doing an investigative follow-up on a nonfatal shooting that occurred Sunday. In that case, a bicyclist was shot in the calf by someone in a stolen Honda.
Hebb, the training officer, and Foster, who was in his fifth week of field training, spotted the stolen Honda and attempted a traffic stop. The officers noticed the man driving the car matched the description of the shooting suspect and pursued the vehicle when it sped away.
The officers chased the car from the northwest valley patrol area into North Las Vegas. Footage from a home security system and body cameras captured the shooting. Upon arriving at the home, a man and a woman could be seen bailing out of the moving car and running toward the home, as the man pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired at least one shot into the air before disappearing from view.
Fasulo said the man fired more shots during the confrontation. A barrage of gunshots can be heard in the footage, but further shots fired by the man cannot be seen.
The officers, both assigned to the community policing division of the northwest command area, fired 26 shots during the incident. Footage from Hebb’s body camera shows the officer applying a tourniquet to the man’s leg, which was bleeding profusely.
Neither officer was hurt. Both have been placed on paid administrative leave as Metro investigates, standard practice in police-related shootings.