Las Vegas Strip shootout leaves officer injured; casino robbery suspect dead

Published Fri, Mar 15, 2019 (10:25 p.m.)

Updated Sat, Mar 16, 2019 (6:25 p.m.)

A bulletproof vest likely saved the life of a Metro Police officer who was shot in the chest by an armed suspect outside the busy Bellagio casino on Friday night, according to officials.

The suspect, who was shot by a second officer, was rushed to University Medical Center in critical condition, said Capt. Nichole Splinter in a briefing broadcast online early Saturday. He died later Saturday, the Associated Press reported.

He had robbed or attempted to rob a popular poker cage area at about 9:45 p.m., Splinter said.

He fled through the north doors of the casino and into the valet area, where he tried to carjack a motorist who had just pulled in, Splinter said.

But when four officers caught up to him, the suspect turned toward police and fired at least one round, striking the officer once, Splinter said.

The suspect also was hit once.

The officer, who also was taken to UMC, was released as of early Saturday, Splinter said.

Being the tourist corridor, there is an “increased amount” of officers, Splinter said. Multiple witnesses continued to be interviewed.

Asked about the incident's timing, Splinter said, “It was a packed casino on a Friday night in Las Vegas.”

Per Metro policy, the officer who opened fire will be identified within 48 hours, and a more detailed briefing would be provided within 72 hours.

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