LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Officials with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department offered new information Tuesday about their investigation into the department's third shooting involving officers so far this year.
Initially, LVMPD officials said officers had shot a man who fired at them in the area of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sunset Road on Jan. 12. Evidence shows that was not the case, Assistant Sheriff Lazaro Chavez said on Tuesday.
Two LVMPD officers were getting gas at a station on the 6100 block of Las Vegas Boulevard at 10:42 p.m. when a vehicle pulled up next to theirs. A woman inside the car got the officers' attention and softly asked them for help, Chavez said.
While the two officers, since identified as Dominic Lee and Zacahry Falldorf, tried to get more information from her, a man holding a gun got out of the car.
Officers fired at and hit the man, since identified as 34-year-old Manuel Edwin Martinez.
"Our investigation revealed during the last several days that Martinez did not fire any rounds during the incident," Chavez said. Asked to clarify, Chavez said Martinez had pointed the gun at officers. Bullet casings that would match his Beretta 9mm handgun were not found at the scene, he said.
After he was shot, Martinez ran into a nearby area of desert and was taken into custody there. He was transported to University Medical Center and has since been moved to Clark County Detention Center, Chavez said.
Investigators interviewed the woman who'd initially contacted the officers and were told she and Martinez previously dated but had been separated for about a year. He'd contacted her on Jan. 12 and asked her to take him to the hospital, Chavez said, but police were told that once she picked him up, he no longer wanted to go there. Chavez said the woman started to feel unsafe based on Martinez's behavior and some of the things he said. When she saw the officers getting gas, she pulled up to them and asked for help.
Lee and Falldorf were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation into the shooting. Both officers are assigned to the community policing division. Lee, 37, has been an officer with LVMPD since 2017. Falldorf, 32, has been with the department since 2018.
Martinez remains held in jail on charges of attempted murder, possession of a gun by a prohibited person, and kidnapping.