Suspect, injured officer identified in shooting near Las Vegas S - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Suspect, injured officer identified in shooting near Las Vegas Strip

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LVMPD squad cars close down the intersection of Arville and Tropicana after an officer-involved shooting (FOX5) LVMPD squad cars close down the intersection of Arville and Tropicana after an officer-involved shooting (FOX5)

Las Vegas Metro police released the identity of the officer involved in a shooting Tuesday near the Las Vegas Strip. 

Officer Richard Nelson, 33, was involved in the incident in the 4100 block of West Tompkins Avenue, near Tropicana Avenue and Arville Street. 

Police units responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle, that was connected to a report of a stolen cell phone, parked in front of a business in the 4100 block of West Tompkins Avenue at 4:15 p.m. According to Sgt. Jeff Clark, of Metro, as the officers approached the vehicle, the suspect, identified by the Clark County Coroner's Office as Miguel Salas, 25, opened fire and struck two officers, including Nelson, from inside the vehicle.

[MORE: See photos from the scene]

Officer Nelson, who was wearing a bullet proof vest, was struck in the lower left chest area and was transported to University Medical Center where "he is ok," according to Sgt. Clark. Officer Nelson has four children. His parents and fiance were at the hospital while he was treated.

The other officer, who has not been identified, was also hit, but a belt kept him from suffering any wound, police said. 

Salas refused to get out of his vehicle, according to police, and a heavily armed SWAT team responded to the scene as authorities treated it as a barricade.

The incident started as a stolen property case Sunday, where a victim reported their cell phone was stolen from a vehicle break-in. That phone was tracked to the truck that Salas was driving, Metro said.

"It doesn't matter what area this happens in, everybody comes together and supports each other (in times like these)," Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.

Witness Steven Nagy-Szakal said he works as a sales associate in the area. He said he saw a traffic stop with two officers on each side of the driver. The driver on the passenger's side was touching his gun during the stop. He then went to the driver's side. "The officer must have seen a gun and both (police and the suspect) started firing." 

"When the shots happened, I wasn’t scared. After, it started setting in that this really just happened. It's never happened to me in person. It was more scary. You got to hear the shots. It sounded like illegal fireworks. It was a very weird and scary experience," Nagy-Szakal said. 

Officer Nelson has been employed with the department since April 2009. He is assigned to the Community Policing Division, Enterprise Area Command. He has been placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a review of this incident. 

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