By Brett Clarkson, Sabrina Schnur and Mark Credico
Las Vegas Review-Journal
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LAS VEGAS — Newly released police body-worn camera footage shows the dramatic moments when a Las Vegas officer shot and killed a man who first shot her while she chased him on Saturday.
Metropolitan Police Department officer Tierney Tomburo, 24, had pulled over a Buick — the driver was arrested on a charge of DUI, police said — in the 3900 block of University Center Drive near UNLV, just before 1:15 a.m.
As Tomburo was corraling the car’s occupants to do pat-downs, one of the occupants, a man identified as Gabriel Herrera Charles, 27, suddenly started running, the video shows.
“Hey!” Tomburo yells at Charles as she chases him. She then screams, “No!” as Charles turns around to aim his handgun at her, firing it and hitting her in the pelvis, Metro Assistant Sheriff John McGrath said during a Tuesday press conference outlining more details of the shooting.
Charles’ gun, a Smith and Wesson pistol, jammed, so he could only fire one round, McGrath said. The gun had another 14 rounds in the magazine, and McGrath declined to speculate as to what might’ve occurred had Charles’ gun not malfunctioned.
“We can’t guess (as) to what would’ve happened,” McGrath said.
Falling to the ground after being shot in the hip, Tomburo pulled her Sig Sauer P320 9mm handgun and shot four rounds at Charles, McGrath said.
Her groans of pain gave way to her call of “Shots fired! Shots fired!” into her radio. Her partner then came over and tied what appeared to be a tourniquet on her leg.
Charles was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where he died of a gunshot wound to the torso, the coroner’s office said.
Tomburo was taken to University Medical Center and treated for the gunshot wound to her pelvis before being released Monday.
Video tweeted by Metro showed dozens of officers clapping as the recovering Tumburo was rolled out of the hospital in a wheelchair.
Tomburo, who has been with the department since 2020, was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the shooting.
McGrath said he didn’t know when Tomburo would be able to return to work, but he lauded her conduct.
“I would say that she’s a great example of a hero police officer,” McGrath said. “She showed her courage she showed calm under pressure, and I think she did an outstanding job and we’re all very proud of her.”
Had Charles survived, McGrath said, he would have faced several charges including attempted murder with a deadly weapon on a protected person, and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, among others, McGrath said.
Asked about Charles’ criminal history, McGrath declined to release more information about Charles’ past, but he said that information will be available at a later time, likely from the district attorney’s office.
“But we’re not going to discuss his criminal history right now,” McGrath said.
It was the eighth Metro police shooting in 2022. Of those eight, five have been fatal, McGrath said. At the same time in 2021, five police shootings had occurred, with two of them fatal.
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