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Henderson Police Department saves lives during hostage situation

Posted at 11:30 AM, Mar 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-04 11:30:44-05

It was early afternoon when the call came in.

“We received a dispatch a call about an individual subject that had reached the end of his options in his own mind and was saying he was going to kill his family," said Henderson Police Department Sgt. Jeb Bozarth.

Bozarth said the man had said he planned to kill his mother, girlfriend, young daughter and himself. If officers got involved, he would kill them too.

“You go from zero to about 110 miles per hour in a split second," said Bozarth.

Officers arrived quickly on scene, many of them first and second-year officers. The situation was intense but Bozarth led them through.

“I think any time the bell rings and whoever gets there first, our training just kicks in automatically," said Eric Nielsen, one of the officers who responded the call.

“Adrenaline kind of kicks in and you don’t really think of too much else except what’s happening in front of me. Just try to do my best. That’s it," said Kevin Marshall, another officer on duty that day.

“We got great leadership and great training and you just rely on that, you don’t really think too much you’re just acting," said Keith Hemingway, an officer on duty.

It may have been acting the officers admit there were nerves.

“I was nervous but having the other officers there with me. You really do believe you’re part of a team and that you’ll be able to do your part when you’re called upon," said Evanson Park, an officer.

Officer Gustavo Soto said he wouldn't call what he felt that day fear but acknowledged there were nerves.

In this situation, there were many unknowns including whether the man had a gun or other weapon. The officers on scene worked to deescalate the situation and when there was an opportunity to move in, they didn’t hesitate - saving the man’s young daughter - the mother and girlfriend survived too.

“What they did that day, any law enforcement officer across the Valley, across the state, across the country would do the same.They’re here to serve and to help and they’re members of the community too I couldn’t be prouder of them," said Bozarth.

We share the pride Sgt. Bozarth has for his officers and are grateful for their service to the Vegas community. That’s why we recognized them as our Vegas Stronger Champions.

Vegas Stronger Champions is sponsored by Findlay Automotive.