The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has determined that the actions of Henderson Police officers on June 11, 2014, were reasonable and legally justified.
According to the report released today, Henderson Police Department (HPD) received numerous calls from concerned citizens reporting gunshots in their area. HPD officers responded and they too heard gunshots. Officers set up a perimeter around the area.
The occupant of the home, Ryan Marone, came out of the house with a handgun and confronted officers. He refused officers’ commands to drop his weapon and went back into the house. Mr. Marone came out of the house a second time, walked to the end of the driveway with his arms up but holding a gun, which he hid behind his head. Again, he refused officers’ commands to drop his weapon. Instead, he raised the gun, aimed it at HPD officers Donnely and McDermed, who were taking shelter behind a utility truck. Mr. Marone fired his gun, striking Officer Donnelly in the hip. Four HPD officers, including the injured Donnelly, returned fire, striking Mr. Marone, who was later pronounced dead at the scene.
During the investigation, it was discovered that Mr. Marone had previously been addicted to heroine and continued to have a chronic alcohol problem. The toxicology report ordered at the time of Mr. Marone’s autopsy showed he had high levels of methamphetamine and hydrocodone, and his blood alcohol level was .114. Additionally, his wife had recently left him, taking their only daughter and moving out of state, after a reported domestic violence incident.
“Tragically, based on conversations with the family of Mr. Marone, and Mr. Marone’s actions, it would seem that he may have wanted police to kill him,” said District Attorney Steve Wolfson. “The term ‘suicide by cop’ was referenced in more than one of the interviews with those who knew him best”.
A Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review was conducted in this incident on March 9, 2015. 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.