Concealing a utility knife behind his back, a man stands in an extended-stay hotel room in disarray and incoherently shouts at a Metro Police officer trying to calm him down.
“Just give me a second to talk to you, OK?” says Officer David Stockton, his extended hand showing in front a body-camera that captured Monday afternoon’s fatal confrontation, which began as a call about a possible suicide attempt.
“Those that have eyes can see!” Spurgeon Daniels shouts back. “Those that have ears can hear!”
Against Stockton’s pleas and despite a pair of failed attempts at shocking Daniels with stun guns, the 62-year-old man does not back down, slashing an officer and then rushing toward Stockton, who fired his .45-caliber gun, killing him.
Footage from the brief confrontation was released Thursday and presented by Clark County Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly, who discussed the shooting — one of four involving Metro officers in five days.
“In my 28-plus years here,” Kelly said, “I don’t recall us having this many (officer-involved shootings) in such a short period of time.”
“You know,” he said, “it’s unfortunate, but when you have individuals out there that are trying to cause harm, as a police agency, it’s our job to take action to mitigate that threat.”
Security at the Kensington Suites, 2200 W. Bonanza Road, called 911 about 12:40 p.m., reporting that Daniels had barricaded himself in his apartment, from which running water was flooding an adjacent unit, Kelly said.
Earlier that day, he’d run through the complex naked and uttering “vague statements” about hurting himself and others, Kelly said.
But now Daniels was indoors, Kelly said. The door’s lock was broken, but the entrance was blocked with furniture, the caller said.
“(The caller) was afraid that something bad may have happened to Daniels because he was not answering the door,” Kelly said. So, officers showed up, knocked and called out to Daniels, who was not responding.
Additional cops arrived and to their surprise, the door simply pushed open. That’s where the footage from the body-camera begins.
Boxes, furniture and clothes are strewn about. Standing by a kitchen counter is Daniels, who is apparently only wearing an oversized, brown T-shirt. The knife is hidden.
“I don’t need to talk!” the agitated man at one point yells at police. “I’ve given everyone my heart and my mind.”
Then he starts to walk toward the officers, tossing a chair aside as he moves through the messy apartment. Now the knife is clearly in sight.
Police continue to plead with Daniels, and Stockton, an 11-year Metro veteran, prepares to deploy his stun gun, but it doesn’t fire.
That’s when another officer hands Stockton his Taser, but upon its use the throngs don’t properly attach and the effort proves ineffective. This further agitates Daniels, who starts to rush toward the door, swinging the knife and cutting an officer’s hand.
Several officers, including Stockton, retreat to the landing area outside. Others are trapped inside.
At that point, Daniels stands by the door looking outside, in a brief yet apparent moment of clarity.
But he’s not dropping the knife and continues to disobey police commands to do so. He swings his arms in no particular direction and an officer deploys his stun gun. But again, it’s ineffective.
Daniels’ demeanor intensifies and he rushes at Stockton with the knife.
Stockton moves back, twice pulling the trigger of his .45. Daniels falls a few feet in front of the officer, the knife still in hand.
Daniels was rushed to University Medical Center where he died soon after, Kelly said.
Investigators, who were taxed due to the numerous separate police-involved shootings, were scouring records to see if Daniels had mental health problems, Kelly said. “Based on his behavior, it appears there is an issue.”
They’d also contacted his daughter.
What was known about Daniels was his extensive rap sheet of arrests in violent incidents. At the complex where he was shot, Metro had responded to calls about him multiple times, but none that led to further legal trouble.