The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the actions of Officer Solorio on January 31, 2014, were reasonable and legally justified.
According to the report released today, officers responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting an armed robbery at the South Pointe Food Mart in Laughlin, NV. This was the third robbery in two weeks at this location, and the suspect’s description was the same in all three robberies.
Officer Solorio spotted a person matching the description of the suspect in the reported robbery walking along James A. Bilbray Parkway in Laughlin. The officer positioned his vehicle between the suspect and a public bus that was parked at a designated bus stop. As the officer exited his vehicle, he ordered the suspect, later identified as Zachary Andrews, to stay in front of the patrol car. Andrews paced in front of the car and then pulled a gun from his pocket and pointed it at his own head. At that point, the officer gave repeated commands to, "Put the gun down’ and "Don’t do it". Andrews refused to comply and continued to walk toward Officer Solorio, backing him into a block wall. Ultimately, with no options for coverage and a block wall behind him, Officer Solorio fired his weapon twice, striking the suspect once in his head and once in his hip.
"Mr. Andrews refused to comply with the officer’s commands and actually continued to walk toward the officer while holding his gun to his head. Not only was Officer Solorio in danger, so was the other officer on scene and the many passengers on the bus parked right behind the police vehicle," DA Steve Wolfson said. "Mr. Andrews’ actions forced Officer Solorio to use deadly force."
A Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review was conducted in this incident on December 8, 2014. Clark County Code mandates such a review when a police-involved death occurs, and the prosecutor preliminarily determines that no criminal prosecution of the officer is appropriate.
The determination that the officer acted lawfully in this situation is based upon the evidence available at this time. The case could be reexamined if new information comes to light.
The full report is available on the District Attorney’s Web page.