Officer accidentally shot person after New Year's celebration on - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

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Officer accidentally shot person after New Year's celebration on Las Vegas Strip

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has confirmed that an officer accidentally shot someone with a rifle on the Las Vegas Strip after the New Year's celebration.

At 1:19 a.m. on Monday, the officer was moving barricades to open the street up to traffic in front of the Monte Carlo hotel and casino when his rifle fired into the concrete and the bullet ricocheted, police said. The victim was struck in the calf and suffered minor injuries. The victim was treated at the scene and did not go to the hospital.  

Police said two other people in the area also said they believed they were hit with something. However, they did not have any visible injuries and did not receive treatment. 

Police described the incident as a "negligent discharge."

Metro told FOX5 the officer is under internal investigation, but it is unlikely that the officer will be placed on administrative leave. Officer Laura Meltzer also said that documents related to the investigation will likely not be made available to the public and that the department will not release the name of the officer involved.

However, multiple law enforcement sources confirmed that the officer is Al Beas Jr. 

Phil Ramos, a retired Metro homicide detective, said he was especially concerned that Metro did not report the case to the public or media. Instead, multiple sources gave tips to FOX5. Ramos said, in his opinion, the way Metro publicly handled the case does not look good.

"In the sense of transparency, if you have an officer who's dealing with the public and there's hundreds of thousands of people there, and a weapon goes off accidentally, I certainly believe that's news worthy and should've been brought to someone's attention," Ramos said. "It's unusual. It's unusual that you'd have an incident like this that's not reported. I'm curious to see why it wasn't deemed news worthy."

"The conspiracy theorists are going to be jumping up and down, and people are going to be saying, 'What were you hiding? Why didn't you report it?'" he added.

Ramos said he is glad, for everybody's sake, nobody suffered major injuries. Based on his training and experience, he said he is confused as to how the gun could have possibly fired. He said he does not believe the officer will face severe discipline.

"They just don't go off by themselves. Guns don't just go off by themselves," Ramos said. "Negligent discharge? It absolutely could have been prevented... (rifles) are intentionally made with those built-in safeties in case you lock it or it's bumped. In order for it to go off, the trigger had to be pulled in some manner."

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