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Gillespie Defends Officer Shooting

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Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for AETN

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for AETN

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(Las Vegas, NV) — A bystander shot by police during an officer-involved shooting last Friday remains hospitalized in critical condition and has forced Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie to answer questions.

Gillespie defended the actions of one officer and one detective as “following policy and procedure” and that the victim, an unnamed 22-year-old man, was caught in the middle of a gun battle between police and a fugitive wanted for shooting his girlfriend in the face.

“Based on my review they acted as they were trained. They were fired upon and returned fire. You are definitely authorized to return fire when you are fired upon”, Gillespie said.

The fugitive, 33-year-old Roberto Torres, was shot and killed by Officer Joseph Parra, 34, and Detective Scott Thomas, 50, during the Feb. 8 shooting near Clark High School.

Torres was said to have been shot in the back as well, something Gillespie defended as well. “The rounds that were shot at the suspect’s back were appropriate rounds discharged by the second officer that shot at the scene. The suspect was engaged with one of my officers, shooting at him and the other officer returned fire from a different point.”

The 22-year-old man was struck in the left shoulder, police said. Neither victim knew Torres, who had responded to an advertisement to purchase a car.

The two officers remain on paid administrative leave.

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