The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the actions of Henderson Police and SWAT officers on July 4, 2015, were legally justified and reasonable. In a report released today, the circumstances surrounding the death of Bryan Bauer are explained.
On July 4, 2015, Mr. Bauer and his girlfriend were staying at the Hilton Garden Inn. They had checked into the hotel because Mr. Bauer believed there were people in his attic and that it was unsafe to stay in his home. While in the hotel room, Mr. Bauer’s paranoia escalated. He said he could hear people outside the door, and he believed there were people inside of the closet in his hotel room as well. He sprayed bear repellant around the outside of the closet door, pointed a firearm he had brought from home at the closet, and instructed his girlfriend to get her things and leave the room. Mr. Bauer’s girlfriend left the room and went to the front desk, asking the hotel employee to call 911, which she did. Within minutes law enforcement contacted Mr. Bauer’s girlfriend by phone and she discussed with them what had just happened. Within a minute of the initial 911 call, Mr. Bauer called the front desk from his room and asked the same employee to contact the police immediately.
Multiple police officers, including SWAT, responded to the hotel. As soon as they arrived, Mr. Bauer fired several rounds inside of his hotel room, and also toward the parking lot from inside the room. Mr. Bauer could be heard talking inside the room, and saying things like "What are they doing out there," "Get away," "Come in and get me." Officers at the scene devised a plan to put a ‘BearCat’ outside of the hotel window, to protect citizens and officers from any bullets Mr. Bauer may shoot outside. However, before this plan could be implemented, Mr. Bauer exited his hotel room with a backpack in his left hand and a gun in his right hand. Officers outside of his hotel room door did not have time to give commands for him to drop his weapon. Two officers fired their weapons at Mr. Bauer. Mr. Bauer stopped moving, dropped his gun and fell into the hallway. He was transported to Sunrise Hospital where he later died.
Further investigation revealed that Mr. Bauer had an addiction to prescription drugs, and had received treatment to battle the addiction. He had also recently lost his job and had become increasingly more paranoid and erratic.
The autopsy of Mr. Bauer revealed he had high dose amounts of Amphetamine, Alprazolam, Methadone, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone and Methamphetamine.
"Mr. Bauer’s actions put the lives of innocent citizens in danger," said District Attorney Steve Wolfson. "Randomly firing his weapon into the parking lot from his hotel room created a dangerous situation for the hotel guests in the area, as well as the officers. A daycare across the parking lot was also locked down to ensure the safety of the children and staff."
A Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review was conducted in this incident on May 24, 2016. Clark County Code mandates such a review when a police-involved death occurs, and the prosecutor preliminarily determines that no criminal prosecution of the officers is appropriate
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.