Two people hurt in an officer-involved shooting last week had no connection to a suspect who died in a gun fight, Las Vegas Metro police said Thursday.
In a news conference at Metro headquarters, Sheriff Doug Gillespie admitted two innocent bystanders were involved in the Feb. 8 incident at an apartment complex near Pennwood Avenue and Arville Street.
Police said the male victim got caught in the crossfire and may have been hit by an officer's bullet. Gillespie said the man, who is currently hospitalized in critical condition, was selling a car to the suspect at the time.
"Based on my reviews, they acted as they were trained. They were fired upon and returned fire," Gillespie said.
A female friend of the victim also sustained moderate injuries to the lower extremities during the exchange, police said.
According to police, officers were sent to that area on reports of a suspect spotted in connection to a woman's shooting that took place earlier that week. Officers observed a man running toward a vehicle at the time.
Police said the man, Robert Antonio Torres, 30, pulled out a gun and fired at officers. The officers returned fire, killing Torres.
"Too many people have weapons that shouldn't have them, and Mr. Torres is a perfect example of that," Gillespie said.
"This is an exceedingly dangerous situation," said retired Metro Lieutenant Randy Sutton.
Sutton has been involved in five officer-involved shootings and understands what the officers faced.
"Simply, accidents happen," he said. "Unfortunately, in this case, I think it's exactly what happened.
Metro identified the officers in the incident as Joseph E. Parra and Scott A. Thomas. They were placed on paid administrative leave as an investigation is ongoing.
"I can assure you it was not the officers' intention to harm an innocent bystander, but this does underscore the dynamics that officers see on the streets," Gillespie said.
Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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