A man who claimed to be the uncle of the man shot and killed during a confrontation with Bureau of Land Management rangers and a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper spoke out Tuesday.
D'Andre Berghardt Jr., 20, was shot and killed Friday afternoon. Video shot by a nearby motorist captured the moments leading up to the shooting and the shooting itself. That video came courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Robert Williams, who said he is Berghardt's uncle, came to the area Tuesday where his nephew was shot, looking for answers.
"They pay you to kill. How great of a job is that?" he said.
Williams said he watched his nephew grow up. He also watched the cell phone video, and is having difficulty accepting what happened.
"To hear that it was my nephew, that's just the worst thing in the world," he said.
The BLM and NHP responded when bicyclists reported having been harassed by Berghardt on State Route 159.
"If he was asking for water, I can understand that, because he is out here next to nowhere. He's not a troublesome kid, and I can't see him trying to harass or fight someone," Williams said.
It was when Berghardt entered an NHP vehicle that the situation escalated, and he was shot.
"I felt that he was wrongly shot. They already pepper sprayed him three, four times. He was trying to run for cover. They claimed that he was trying to go inside some vehicle and take a gun. He's not that kind of individual. He was most likely trying to protect himself from more harm," Williams said.
"There has to be some justice. We're supposed to call the police to protect and serve. These police out here come to shoot and kill," Williams added.
Williams said his nephew was in the process of moving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to live with his older brother. That brother was supposed to have picked him up from a bus station, but he never showed. The family is still trying to figure out what Berghardt was doing near Red Rock Canyon that day.
Earlier on Friday, FOX5 had retired Metro Officer James Dillon watch the video. Dillon, who served on Metro's Use of Force Board, said his initial reaction was that officers acted appropriately given the situation.
Copyright 2014 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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