A wanted man who Las Vegas police officers shot and killed on New Year’s Eve ignored at least 24 verbal commands to surrender before the gunshots.
Las Vegas Metro police discussed Monday the officer-involved shooting of 23-year-old Keith Childress Jr. Officers and U.S. marshals confronted Childress while he was being sought as a fugitive.
Undersheriff Kevin McMahill told media members marshals were seeking Childress after he skipped out on sentencing in a home invasion case out of the Phoenix-area.
U.S. marshals were informed of Childress’ location in the Las Vegas area four days before the shooting, according to McMahill. Marshals learned he was staying with a relative in the area.
On Dec. 30, marshals performed surveillance on an apartment on West Desert Inn Road where Childress was believed to be staying, but he did not appear. Marshals returned the next day and spotted at 2 p.m. Childress and a friend leaving the apartment. Marshals approached Childress but he ran away on foot.
Marshals requested assistance from Metro, which deployed air and K9 units. The air unit was able to locate Childress in a neighborhood near Desert Inn and Cimarron roads, where he was spotted in several residential backyards.
Officer Robert Bohanon was the first to arrive at Childress’ location in the 8300 block of Gilded Crown Court. In body camera footage shown on Monday, Bohanon points his service weapon and commands Childress to “get on the ground”. Childress appears to ignore the commands and keep walking away from the officer.
Bohanon was later joined by Officer Blake Walford and two marshals at the scene. Childress was seen with his right hand in his pocket throughout the encounter, and Bohanon commanded him to “drop the gun,” believing Childress was holding a firearm.
Childress was also told that he would be shot if he walked closer to the officers, which he did. Bohanon and Walford opened fire on Childress, who was shot five times.
Childress died at the scene. Officers later searched Childress for any weapons. McMahill said the object Childress held throughout the encounter was a cell phone.
McMahill also noted marshals told officers Childress was armed and dangerous and wanted for attempted murder. The charge, though, turned out to be false, according to McMahill.
Bohanon fired four rounds during the incident while Walford fired five. The officers were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
Bohanon, 37, is an 18-year veteran of the department. Walford, 27, has been with Metro for a year.