Ex-cop on veteran's shooting: 'I did not want to take a life' - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU


Ex-cop on veteran's shooting: 'I did not want to take a life'

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Former Metro Officer Jesus Arevalo speaks with FOX5's Doug Johnson about the night he shot and killed Stanley Gibson. (Doug Johnson/FOX5) Former Metro Officer Jesus Arevalo speaks with FOX5's Doug Johnson about the night he shot and killed Stanley Gibson. (Doug Johnson/FOX5)
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    Stanley Gibson Coverage

    Monday, October 28 2013 2:46 PM EDT2013-10-28 18:46:14 GMT
    Below are some of the previous stories about the shooting death of Stanley Gibson.More >
    Below are some of the previous stories about the shooting death of Stanley Gibson.More >

Former Metro Officer Jesus Arevalo has broken his silence about the night he shot and killed Stanley Gibson, a night he said he'll never forget.

"It was a series of events, unfortunate events, which led to a tragedy, and I did not want to take a life that night," Arevalo told FOX5 in an exclusive interview.

After Gibson refused to come out of his vehicle, Arevalo said originally a plan was devised to force him out using a bean bag gun and pepper spray.

But soon Arevalo said that plan was canceled by the acting lieutenant, who favored speaking to Gibson over a police car's PA system.

"And as far as I knew, the plan was on hold permanently," Arevalo said.

That's when Arevalo said he moved to the other side of Gibson's vehicle to better cover officers with his AR-15.

While officers tried speaking with Gibson, Arevalo said he saw him move.

"He threw on a jacket, started the car, put the car in reverse and stomped on the gas," Arevalo said.

At that time, Arevalo said the engine's noise was extremely loud.

"When I'm sitting there, I'm trying to listen to my radio traffic to see what's going on. I'm not hearing any radio traffic," Arevalo recalled.

That's a problem with the new radio system Arevalo said Sheriff Doug Gillespie and others within the department knew about.

But what Arevalo did not know at the time was the pepper spray plan was put back into action.

"The lieutenant made a hasty decision ... grabbed the other officer and moved him forward to deploy the bean-bag round," Arevalo said.

All Arevalo said he heard was the bean bag gun fire.

"My perception is I hear a gun shot. I see a window blow out. We're getting shot at. … We're trained to act and stop that threat, and that's what I believed I was doing," Arevalo said.

It was a decision that cost Gibson his life, cost Arevalo his job and, he said, so much more.

"I think about it every day. ... My parents have had to go through this, my 16-year-old has had to go through hearing this on the news, my girlfriend, my brothers, my family," Arevalo said.

While Arevalo said he is unhappy with the department's decision to fire him, he does take responsibility for pulling the trigger.

"My deepest condolences as a Christian goes out to the Gibson family, Rhonda Gibson and Celeste Gibson the mother. ... I hope they are healing or they heal sometime in the near future," Arevalo said.

Arevalo also talked about how he felt the deck was stacked against him in the Use of Force and Pre-Termination Board hearings.

He said he also filed a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against Metro.

FOX5 will reach out to Metro on these accusations and keep on top of this story to bring any new developments as they happen.

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