The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the actions of a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police (Metro) SWAT officer on April 8, 2014, were reasonable and legally justified.
According to the report released today, on April 8, 2014, Metro officers were called to 5689 Maceta Avenue after a citizen called 911 to report that his roommate, later identified as Travis Doering, was under the influence of drugs and was having a psychotic breakdown.
The first officers on the scene established a perimeter that enabled them to view the front of the house and relay information to the Command Post. Officers saw Mr. Doering exit the residence several times with an assault rifle. A Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officer called Mr. Doering in an attempt to get him to exit the house, without a weapon. The officer was able to reach Mr. Doering and briefly spoke to him about resolving the situation; however, the phone connection was lost. The officer tried several more times to speak to Mr. Doering and get him to surrender without incident. It was determined that negotiations failed and the SWAT team was dispatched to the scene.
A SWAT officer arrived and took position on the rooftop of a home across the street from Mr. Doering’s home. Mr. Doering again exited his residence, armed with an assault rifle. The SWAT officer observed him load the weapon, chamber a round into the rifle, crouch down next to a vehicle in the driveway and aim the rifle toward other officers on the scene. Fearing for the lives of other officers, the SWAT officer fired one shot, striking Mr. Doering in the head and killing him.
Further investigation revealed Mr. Doering had been exhibiting bizarre behavior, like staying up for days without sleeping, pacing constantly and possibly using drugs, in the days prior to the shooting. An autopsy revealed that Mr. Doering had marijuana, amphetamine and methamphetamine in his body.
"In this situation, Mr. Doering’s actions were erratic and unpredictable" said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson. "The SWAT officer on scene had every reason to believe that Mr. Doering posed a serious threat to other officers in the area, and he acted accordingly."
A Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review on this case was held on June 10, 2015. 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.