A report released today describes the events leading up to the death of Abel Correa. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the actions of two Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers (LVMPD) on August 7, 2015, were reasonable and legally justified.
On August 7, 2015, officers responded to a call regarding an act of vandalism. Specifically, a man threw a ball hitch through a window. When officers arrived a neighbor told them that the suspect, Mr. Correa, had entered the home next door, which was occupied by his mother, who had an active protective order against him. With permission from Mr. Correa’s mother, officers entered the home to locate Mr. Correa. His brother let officers know that Mr. Correa was hiding in the coat closet near the front door. When officers opened the closet door, Mr. Correa charged at one of them, armed with a screwdriver and a wrench. Two officers discharged their firearms, striking and killing Mr. Correa.
The autopsy of Mr. Correa revealed he had methamphetamine and amphetamine in his system at levels that have been known to cause violent and irrational behavior. Toxicology also indicated Mr. Correa likely consumed marijuana several hours prior to the incident. Further investigation revealed that 46 days prior to his death, Mr. Correa was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility for eight days.
"Mr. Correa’s mother sought a protective order against her son because she was, in her words, being ‘terrorized’ by him," said District Attorney Steve Wolfson. "The investigation showed that Mr. Correa had a history of drug abuse and that he suffered from mental illness as well. Unfortunately, his actions left officers with no choice but to protect themselves and the citizens in the home."
A Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review was conducted in this incident on June 16, 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 officer 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.