The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has completed its review of the December 7, 2014, death of Anthony Wade Moore, and determined that the actions of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police (Metro) detectives were not criminal in nature. No charges will be forthcoming.
The report released today explains that detectives from Metro’s Career Criminal Section were conducting surveillance on Mr. Moore because he was a suspect in at least four different casino attempted robberies, or robberies, that occurred during November, 2014. In each of those instances, Mr. Moore approached individuals and threatened them with a handgun or explosives.
Casino security at the Rio Hotel and Casino contacted Metro in response to photos and video surveillance of the suspect, provided to them by Metro. They reported that an individual matching Mr. Moore’s description had checked in on November 18th and would be checking out on December 7th.
Detectives from Metro’s Career Criminal Section, Robbery Section and Wanted Fugitive Task Force conducted 24-hour surveillance on Mr. Moore, beginning December 4th. In the early morning hours of December 7, 2014, Mr. Moore left the Rio and went to the Tropicana Hotel Casino, where he parked his vehicle. Detectives noticed that the license plate on Mr. Moore’s vehicle had been changed, and that Mr. Moore was wearing clothing similar to that worn in previous robberies, including the Under Armor gym bag, which had also been seen in previous surveillance videos. Mr. Moore walked to the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, where security for the property monitored his movement. It appeared as though he was about to commit a robbery in the "high limit" section. He was seen pacing continuously, repeatedly checking his watch and looking over at the cashier cage. However, no employee ever entered the cage. Mr. Moore appeared to lose his patience and then left the casino, returning back to his vehicle. Mr. Moore drove recklessly, and at a high rate of speed, back to the Rio. Detectives had difficulty keeping pace with him and did not fully catch up to him until he reached the Rio. During this time, the Robbery Section gave commands over the radio to apprehend Mr. Moore when it was safe to do so.
The detectives conducting the surveillance saw Mr. Moore, carrying the same gym bag, turn down a hallway and they moved in behind him. One of the detectives pointed his firearm at Mr. Moore, identified himself as a police officer and told him to "show your hands and get on the ground." The second detective saw Mr. Moore reach into his gym bag after being told to get on the ground. The second detective then pulled his Taser from the front of his sweatshirt, giving Mr. Moore multiple commands to get on the ground. Mr. Moore continued to reach into his bag, and the Detective discharged his Taser multiple times, without success. The first detective then heard the second detective yell "Gun!, Gun!, Gun!" and "Don’t do it!" He then heard two gunshots in immediate succession. The first was fired by Mr. Moore, and the second was fired by the other detective.
Further investigation revealed that Mr. Moore had two previous domestic violence cases in Oregon, and was also facing drug distribution charges. His roommate reported that Mr. Moore told him he could not go back to jail again, and he would rather kill himself, or shoot it out with police.
An autopsy report indicated that Mr. Moore’s blood tested positive for cocaine.
"The Detectives in this situation first attempted to use non-lethal force," said District Attorney Steve Wolfson. "Only after Mr. Moore refused to comply with their commands, and continued to reach for the gun in his bag, did they switch to deadly force. Their actions were in response to a threat to their lives and the lives of innocent citizens nearby."
A Police Fatality Public Fact-Finding Review was held on August 24, 2015. The determination that the Detectives 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.