Las Vegas Police released video footage of an officer-involved shooting of a stabbing suspect armed with a knife who was trying to flee officers.
In the video, the suspect can be seen acting erratically as officers order him to put down the knife. “Put the knife down,” one officer tells the man. “Hey, drop the knife,” another adds.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Aug. 27 that police identified the suspect as Caleb Rydlin Hill, 38. Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly said the stabbings were random, adding that Hill hadn’t been in an altercation with either woman.
According to KTNV, police said that the suspect stabbed two different women on a bus. “Next thing I know I got maybe a quarter of a block to the bus and I felt an arm around my neck and something going in my throat,” said victim Robin Woodfin, adding that she was able to get off the bus and sought help.
Hill got off the bus, put another woman in a chokehold, and then started stabbing her, police said.
When police met the suspect on Spring Mountain and Rainbow Boulevard, he ran from officers armed with the knife and refused to comply, according to the report.
Police tried subduing Hill with a Taser and a low-lethal beanbag shotgun, but they were not effective, the Review-Journal reported.
The video footage shows Hill trying to enter a car that drove up on the sidewalk at one point. Then, as he gets close to a bus stop that appears to have people inside, an officer opens fire.
The suspect was taken to UMC Trauma in critical yet stable condition, according to the Review-Journal report. The two women he allegedly stabbed were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Kelly told the newspaper that police are trained to stay at least 21 feet from individuals with knives, which is why the officers didn’t approach Hill to try and disarm him.
“The officers did everything they could to stop this from getting to the point that it got to,” he said.
Hill faces one count of resisting an officer with a weapon and two counts of attempted murder.
Questions Over Tasers
In a 2016 report, Los Angeles Police Department officers used Tasers 1,101 times in 2015, but the device only worked just under half the time, or 516 times, SCPR reported.
“So many shootings involve an inefficient Taser first,” said Peter Moskos, who is a former Baltimore police officer and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, NBC reported. “They often don’t work, and then what?”
“Tasers are not for deadly force situations,” said Eugene O’Donnell, who is a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in a 2016 NBC report. “The only time the police need to be shooting is when there is an absolute matter between life and death. It’s not a tool for apprehension.”
William Terrill, a criminology professor at Arizona State University, added: “If you were to respond with less force, it will put you in danger or another citizen in danger.”
Video Credit: Las Vegas Police Department