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Store manager injured by police while trying to stop a shoplifter

Local man talks exclusively with 13 Action News
Posted at 6:28 PM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 22:43:50-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A local man says his best efforts left him injured by police.

Jim Herndon is the assistant manager at Sportsman's Warehouse in Henderson, and someone was shoplifting last January.

Herndon says he saw the guy shoving ammunition in his pockets and socks. Then he saw him drop a gun. Someone called 911. Police showed up, Herndon says he talked to them, and they went to find him.

"I see somebody coming towards the front of the store racks are flying, and then this guy falls in front of me," Herndon said.

Herndon is a retired police officer. He decided he wasn't going to let this guy get away, so he jumped on top of the suspect, and pinned his hands to the ground. That's when he says; police jumped in.

"I got hit in the head somebody grabbed me by the throat and was pulling my head up, but I remember reaching up peeling whosever hands were on my throat, and I was yelling 'the bad guys on the bottom the bad guy's on the bottom," Herndon said.

He says he walked away with a bloody nose, bruises on his face, hands, a concussion, blurry vision, and likely permanent nerve damage.

"Some days it just limits what I would normally do. I have kids, and I have lived, and I have things going on and some days it's just harder than others to go do that," Herndon said.

Now he's filed a federal lawsuit.

The Henderson Police Department declined an interview.

The City of Henderson did send us a statement, saying in part, "Mr. Herndon's actions added confusion to an already volatile situation and unnecessarily endangered officers, members of the public and himself."

The city has 45 days to respond to the lawsuit.

Herndon says he wishes it didn't have to come down to this, but if he had to do it again, he would.

"The fact that an armed person falls at your feet and the police aren't around; you have a choice - do you let them get up and make a bad situation worse or do you do something?" Herndon said.