Vegas sheriff on shooting: 'It is my duty to come forward' - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Vegas sheriff on shooting: 'It is my duty to come forward'

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Many of the details about exactly why an officer decided to use deadly force on a suspected burglar early Monday morning are still unanswered.

Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie spoke out Monday afternoon just hours after a suspect was shot and killed by a single officer.

The news conference is unique for Sheriff Gillespie who normally does not come before reporters right after an officer shoots a member of the community.

STORY: Police shoot, kill man suspected in Vegas break-in

The sheriff said he had to speak because the process normally used to fact-find is on hold.

"When we as a police agency shoot a suspect under these conditions, I see it as my duty to come forward," the sheriff said.

It was an assurance from Sheriff Gillespie that hard questions will be asked of the officer who shot the unarmed suspect.

The officer, who has not been identified, has not given his superiors an account of what happened, as of Monday night.

Sheriff Gillespie, though, said the statement will be taken within the next few days.

"Once I have those details, I will again come back to you, the community, and give a further explanation of the officer's actions."

This is the 18th time this year a Metro officer shot a Las Vegas resident. The coroner's inquest, where officers involved in shootings are questioned, is stalled.

It is the reason the sheriff says he's speaking out.

"We have not had an inquest in over a year and I don't think it's right to wait," Sheriff Gillespie said.

The union representing police officers sued, disagreeing with several changes to the inquest. Until a legal agreement can be reached, all of the shootings for this year are in limbo.

County commission is partly responsible for the rules of the inquest. Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani says there needs to be a process to scrutinize officers who kill someone.

"We have 17 families now out there waiting for some form of closure," the commissioner said. "Why are we not treating police officer shootings the same way we do other homicides?"

Commissioner Giunchigliani says she wouldn't be opposed to having an inquest even if officers did not participate.

On the advice of their union, officers are being instructed to plead the Fifth and not take part in an inquest.

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