The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the actions of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro) officer involved in the October 21, 2013, shooting of Antoine Hodges were legally justified.
“The officer approached Mr. Hodges because he resembled a suspect in a double murder which occurred the previous day in the same vicinity,” said District Attorney Steve Wolfson. “Mr. Hodges backed away from the officer, ignored his commands and reached behind his back. Fearing for his life and the safety of others in the 7-Eleven, the officer fired a single shot. Mr. Hodges was struck in the abdomen. Thankfully, this was a non-life threatening injury.”
According to the report released today, the Metro patrol officer had responded to a double homicide at Nellis Blvd. and Sahara Ave. on the evening of October 20. During the course of that investigation, he spoke to a witness who described the suspect. The following night, this same officer was driving by the 7-Eleven at Nellis Blvd. and Stewart Ave., less than two miles from the scene of the double homicide, when he saw a male fitting the suspect’s description. As the man entered the convenience store, the officer broadcast this information over the radio, proceeded into the parking lot and pulled into a parking space. When Hodges was about to exit the store, the officer drew his weapon and approached the doors. When Hodges saw the officer, he retreated into the store. The officer repeatedly directed Hodges to show his hands. Hodges did not comply and reached his right hand behind his back. Fearing for his safety, and aware that a store clerk was also inside the premises, the officer fired one shot at Hodges. The bullet struck Hodges in the abdomen. Another responding officer administered aid to Hodges until medical personnel arrived. Officers searched Hodges’ pockets and found a baggie of marijuana. Paramedics transported Hodges to University Medical Center where hospital personnel located an additional bag of marijuana concealed in Hodges’ buttocks. He was treated for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and released several hours later.
In an interview at the University Medical Center, Hodges stated he asked the officer, “What’s going on? What are you looking for?” He heard the officer give commands, but he failed to comply because he “hadn’t done anything wrong.” Hodges acknowledged, based upon his actions and non-compliance, why the officer believed he could have had a weapon.
A Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review was not conducted in this case. Here, there was no fatality; therefore, this incident does not fall under the provisions of the County Code requiring a hearing.
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.