Local News


Guards and guns; Sandoval declines to comment

Posted at 6:44 PM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-27 21:44:38-04
How guards use guns in Nevada prisons has turned into a hot potato being tossed back and forth between the Governor and the state Department of Corrections. Will the state ban using deadly force behind bars?  
It's a story we've been reporting on for more than a year.  Inmate Carlos Perez, his hands cuffed behind his back, was shot and killed by a guard in late 2014.  In the same incident, a second handcuffed inmate was seriously injured.  The state is facing lawsuits over that, as well as other incidents where other prisoners have been shot by guards. 
Former correctional officer trainee Raynaldo J. Ramos--the man who shot Perez--faces criminal charges. But the use of shotguns with lethal "birdshot" rounds has continued inside prison walls.  Nevada is one of the last states in the nation to use it.
And while new Department of Corrections' Director James Dzurenda said it's not necessary, and there are better ways to control prisoners, it was up to Governor Sandoval to ban the use of deadly rounds. 
Nearly two years after Perez was killed he still isn't talking about it.  
Contact 13 asked Gov. Sandoval about the issue on Friday. 
"You know, I'm not going to talk about that today," he said. "This is about veterans today."
The Governor's office told us to ask the Department of Corrections, but the department says they are waiting to hear from the Governor.