Las Vegas officer shoots through windshield during car chase
A heart-pounding bodycam video shows a Las Vegas police officer chasing a suspect through crowded city streets — and then firing through his own windshield after someone in the car tried shooting at the officers on July 11, police say.
“When you look at that video you get a clear picture of what officers were dealing with,” Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly told KSNV. “In my opinion they showed bravery and heroics we come to expect from our officers.”
Police say they were investigating two men, 22-year-old Fidel Miranda and 30-year-old Rene Nunez, as suspects in the murder of 25-year-old Thomas Romero at a car wash, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Officers spotted a car matching a description of the suspect’s vehicle and gave chase, sparking a harrowing pursuit through the streets of Las Vegas as bullets flew threw the air.
The video shows Officer William Umana pursuing an SUV and calling in his position to dispatchers before shouting “Shots fired!”
Umana weaves between cars while trying to keep the dispatchers updated on how dangerous the situation is becoming. “Be advised! Shots fired!” he says again.
After a few more minutes of pursuit, another officer pulls in front of Umana to help before at least five muted gunshots can be heard. Umana shouts “Shots fired again!” in to his radio.
The SUV veers off the highway into a side street, and Umana zooms up right behind the vehicle and pulls out his handgun. He thrusts his arm out the window, but quickly pulls it back in.
Then he makes a split-second decision, raises his gun, and shoots straight through his own windshield five times. He waits a moment, pulls closer, and shoots another six times. He pulls to the right of the vehicle and fires several more times through his side window before the SUV slows and crashes against the wall of a building.
The wheels of the SUV start spinning in reverse as Umana, who has reloaded, gets out of his patrol car and fires more shots at the driver’s side door. The car comes to a stop, and the video ends a little later.
Police say Miranda was shot and killed by a shotgun bullet from a different officer, Paul Solomon. Nunez jumped out of the vehicle and tried to escape into an elementary school, KTNV reported. Nunez was arrested after being found suffering from gunshot wounds and was taken to the hospital, according to the station.
He now faces charges of murder with a deadly weapon and attempted murder with a deadly weapon, according to the Review-Journal.