LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – A suspect connected to at least 16 October robberies in the Las Vegas and Henderson areas pointed a fake handgun at police before four Las Vegas officers opened fire, ending his crime spree after an extended chase throughout the city last week, according to authorities.
Las Vegas Metro Police Undersheriff Kevin McMahill spoke to reporters Monday, outlining the chain of events that eventually led to the death of 50-year-old Rex Wilson in the officer-involved shooting along the 215 beltway that followed Wilson’s run from authorities Oct. 12.
McMahill said patrol officers in the downtown area spotted a vehicle around 11:15 p.m. last Wednesday that matched the description of a 2012 Nissan Rogue taken during a violent carjacking in Henderson earlier this month.
When officers attempted to stop the vehicle near Wyoming Avenue and Commerce Street, Wilson took off, launching a cross-jurisdictional pursuit that wove through several LVMPD areas as well as North Las Vegas, McMahill said.
After an unsuccessful attempt to stop the car near Charleston and Decatur boulevards, Wilson ran over spike strips at Sky Point and the North 215 beltway, which deflated the vehicle’s tires. Wilson continued, however, until patrol cars forced him to stop on the Westbound 215 beltway between North Fort Apache Road and North Hualapai Way, which pushed Wilson’s vehicle onto the Eastbound 215 beltway.
McMahill said Wilson then pulled out what appeared to be a small-framed handgun and pointed it in the direction of two offcers, prompting four approaching officers to pull their weapons and open fire.
Wilson was pronounced dead at the scene. The fake handgun was discovered to be a sprayer nozzle wrapped in black tape.
McMahill said the ensuing investigation ultimately tied Wilson to up to 16 robberies in Las Vegas and Henderson beginning on October 3. A family member also told police that Wilson was reported missing earlier in the day on Oct. 12 and was believed to be a danger to himself.
The shooting, the 7th officer-involved shooting of 2016 by LVMPD officers, remains under investigation by the department’s Force Investigation Team. The findings of their report will be forwarded to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office for review.