The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the actions of North Las Vegas (NLV) police officers on October 10, 2014, were reasonable and legally justified.
According to the report released today, on October 10, 2014, two NLV officers attempted to make a traffic stop on Al Jarreau Cross. Mr. Cross failed to yield to the officers. Instead, he drove into a neighborhood, parked in the driveway of a home on Miller Avenue and fled on foot. One officer chased Mr. Cross into a desert area off of Carey Avenue. The other officer proceeded in his patrol car to intercept Mr. Cross. As the foot chase continued, the officer deployed his taser and then saw a muzzle flash from Mr. Cross’ gun. Before he was able to pull his own gun, the officer was struck by four bullets, two in each of his legs. As the officer retreated, seeking cover from an embankment, he pulled his gun and returned fire. During this time, the second officer, who was pursuing in his vehicle, arrived on the scene and also fired shots at Mr. Cross. Mr. Cross was shot multiple times and was pronounced dead on the scene by responding medical units. The officer who was shot was transported to UMC with four non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
During the autopsy of Mr. Cross, the medical examiner found both prescription and illegal drugs in his system, including Meprobamate, which is a DEA Schedule IV drug. This drug can cause derangement and/or impairment of alertness, judgment, sense of care and caution and nerve-muscle coordination.
Further investigation revealed that the driveway where Mr. Cross left his vehicle was randomly chosen and the homeowners had no connection to him. Additionally, the weapon he used to shoot the officer, a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, was reported stolen the previous year. Mr. Cross had previously been convicted of two counts of Assault with Use of a Deadly Weapon and was sentenced to prison.
"We never want to hear that an officer had to shoot a citizen," said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson. "In this case, the officer chasing Mr. Cross first used non-lethal force to try to get him to comply. He did not initially have his gun drawn. Mr. Cross’ decision to shoot at the officer, actually striking him four times, left the officer with no choice but to return fire, protecting himself, his partner and innocent citizens in the area."
A Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review on this case was held on April 27, 2015. The determination that the officers 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.