In a report released today involving the death of Rex Wilson in October of 2016, the Clark County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the actions of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) officers were legally justified and appropriate.
On October 12, 2016, Downtown Area Command officers were briefed on an incident that happened two days prior in Henderson, involving a residential robbery where a vehicle was stolen from a person at gunpoint while she was in her driveway. Officers were informed the same person was the primary suspect in 16 armed robberies spanning from October 3rd through October 12th.
That same evening, officers spotted the stolen car and attempted to pull over the driver, later identified as Rex Wilson. As officers got closer, Mr. Wilson briefly stopped and then sped away. Multiple officers pursued him as he travelled at high rates of speed, running red lights and then entering and exiting the 215 beltway more than once. After twenty-three minutes of pursuit, the officers were finally able to stop Mr. Wilson by using a Precision Intervention Technique ("PIT"). Once Mr. Wilson was stopped by the PIT maneuver, three different patrol cars were used to physically block the stolen car from leaving the scene. As officers got out of their vehicles to take Mr. Wilson in to custody, he raised what appeared to be a firearm and pointed it at an officer. Four officers simultaneously fired their weapons at Mr. Wilson. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The autopsy report revealed that Mr. Wilson tested positive for cocaine in his system, at a level that was consistent with cocaine intoxication.
"Mr. Wilson was seen on camera carjacking a woman at gunpoint in her driveway. Additionally, he was linked to several armed robberies in the days prior to his death," said District Attorney Steve Wolfson. "By leading officers on a dangerous car chase, which lasted over 20 minutes, and then pointing what appeared to be a gun at them, Mr. Wilson caused officers to fire their weapons at him to stop the threat he posed."
A Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review was conducted in this incident on March 27, 2017. 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.