Seriously injured Nevada soldier on I-15, suspect shot dead by police

Posted: July 28, 2021, 5:43 a.m.

Last update on: July 28, 2021, 7:40 a.m.

A Nevada Highway Patrol soldier is said to be in critical but stable condition early Wednesday. The soldier was injured after being struck by a car driven by an apparent car thief on Interstate 15. This took place near the Las Vegas Strip around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, and the driver was later shot dead by police on the highway, according to local media.

The soldier was attempting to set up spikes to demobilize the carjacker's vehicle when the impact occurred
Police block traffic on I-15 in Las Vegas. It was on the highway that a female driver struck a Nevada soldier with a car on Tuesday, seriously injuring him. The driver then appeared to be looking for a gun and was fatally shot by other soldiers on the highway. (Picture: Las Vegas Review)

After the driver appeared to reach for the soldier’s gun, she was shot and killed by other soldiers several times, based on early reports. Police believe she was also armed with a knife, the reports add.

The soldiers fired between 20 and 25 shots at the suspect, KLAS, a local television station, said, based on information from an eyewitness. Neither the injured soldier nor the deceased suspect was immediately identified.

It appears that the female carjacker was initially pursued by officers from the Department of Parole and Probation following an earlier incident, KLAS reported. The police chase lasted about 20 minutes, KLAS noted.

The soldier was standing outside his police car in the southbound lanes of the freeway when he was injured by the car. The car may have been in a spin at the time.

The soldier was attempting to set up spikes to demobilize the carjacker’s vehicle when the impact occurred.

Forced through the windshield

After being hit, the force pushed the soldier through the windshield of the car, KLAS noted. A description of his injuries was not immediately available.

A metro police helicopter landed on the freeway and transported the soldier to the nearby university medical center, the Las Vegas Review reported, based on information from an anonymous police source.

Shortly after the soldier arrived at the hospital, many police gathered there and waited to hear about his condition. Journal noted. The soldier’s family were also in the hospital.

Witness account

Witness Milton Burns said KLAS he saw the soldier place spikes on the highway, then saw the car hit the soldier.

Ah man, that was just crazy! Burns said KLAS. “… That was the craziest part of it all, just watching half a body pop out of a windshield, being just like a rag doll, just going back and forth.”

At one point, Interstate 15 was completely closed between Flamingo Road and Charleston Boulevard, and was blocked at other locations as well. The northbound lanes were reopened first. Then the southbound lanes reopened.

The incident apparently led to congested local roads in the area around the strip, such as Sahara Avenue. Several casinos are located nearby.

Recent violence against police officers

In an unrelated incident earlier this month, a Las Vegas subway police officer was hospitalized with a gunshot wound.

The shooting took place on the weekend of July 4. Police were on Al Davis Way near Allegiant Stadium to investigate a disruption. The off-strip stadium is located just west of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

During the incident, police took a man into custody after allegedly grabbing an officer’s gun during a scuffle and firing a shot that hit the officer. He was hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries.

Lyndon Troung, 28, has been charged with assault and battery with the use of a deadly weapon on a first responder, severe bodily harm and resisting a public official with a gun, according to the Journal.

Additionally, in June 2020, subway officer Shay Mikalonis sustained serious gunshot wounds as he apprehended unruly protesters near the Circus Circus Hotel & Casino.

Mikalonis suffered serious injuries. He is believed to be paralyzed from neck to toe, KVVU, reported a local television station.

He received post-hospital treatment at a Colorado rehabilitation center and returned to Las Vegas. Community fundraisers were organized to help the agent.

Charges are pending against the alleged shooter, Edgar Samaniego.

Samaniego pleaded not guilty last September to several counts. They include attempted murder with a lethal weapon, bodily harm with a lethal weapon and three counts each of assault with a lethal weapon and unloading a firearm in a structure / vehicle in a restricted zone, KLAS noted.

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