Man killed by Metro during domestic dispute had yelled ‘shoot me’ to cops

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METRO POLICE

A screen grab from an officer’s body-worn camera during a domestic disturbance call Tuesday, May 16, 2019.

Thu, May 16, 2019 (7:40 p.m.)

Click to enlarge photo

Alex Underdown

The armed suspect said he intended to die Tuesday night.

Thirty-four minutes after Metro Police showed up at Alex Underdown’s central valley house, he picked up a phone to call a relative: “I’m surrounded by the police, I’m going to kill myself, I love you. Goodbye.”

He was fatally wounded by a rifle-wielding officer 19 minutes later, said Clark County Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly, who noted the phone call.

Body-cam footage made public Thursday by Kelly captured a standoff in which another officer had patiently pleaded with an irate Underdown to calm down and talk to him.

Footage from a camera mounted to a Metro helicopter showed Underdown pressing a gun against his own chin.

Underdown, 54, was shot as he paced through his backyard, coming across a trio of officers who were taking cover behind a neighbor’s wall, Kelly said, adding that the suspect had pointed the gun at the cops.

Officer Brendan Burbrink, 33, blasted four rounds from his rifle, striking Underdown once, Kelly said.

It all began when Underdown’s wife called 911 at 5:29 p.m. to report a disturbance in the 3100 block of Bel Air Drive, near Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn Road, Kelly said.

Underdown had threatened to kick her out, according to 911 audio. He hadn’t hit her, but the couple had been drinking and in the past, her husband had put a gun to her head, she said.

Units weren’t dispatched until an hour and 34 minutes later, arriving eventually at 7:08 p.m., Kelly said. This was due to Metro’s call volume and the fact that the incident hadn’t been reported as being physical, Kelly said. Metro was going to review if the “correct response time protocol (was) followed,” he added.

The first Metro unit found a woman with a black eye and other facial injuries, giving police probable cause to make an arrest, Kelly said.

Underdown hung up the phone when police called to tell him to come out, Kelly said. He called his relative at 7:42 p.m.

Eventually, he came out but stayed behind a gate at the side of the house, directing his ire toward at least one officer, whose camera captured the interaction.

• “All we want to do is just talk,” the officer said.

• “… shoot me, I don’t give a (expletive),” Underdown shouted back.

• “I’m not going to … Let’s continue to talk this out,” the officer said.

• “You don’t know me (expletive) … You’re embarrassing me in front of my neighbors (expletive) you,” Underdown said.

• “What is causing all of this?” the officer said.

• “I would suggest you take cover because I know how to shoot,” Underdown responds.

At this time, a police helicopter buzzed above, its operators relating to officers on the ground that Underdown had a gun, and that he had pointed it several times on himself.

Underdown then paced around his backyard, stumbling upon the officers who had taken cover behind his neighbor’s wall, Kelly said.

The 8:01 p.m. shooting was captured on Burbrink’s camera, but Underdown was outside the frame.

“He pointed that (expletive) right on my face,” the officer is heard saying after he pulled the trigger. “We’re like 3 feet from the guy.”

Underdown’s 9mm gun had one round in the chamber and four in a magazine, Kelly said. Had he survived, he would have faced three counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a protected person.

Burbrink was placed on paid administrative leave as Metro policy dictates.

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