LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – A police detective warned an approaching robber he was a cop and advised him “not to do it” before the detective shot him during a confrontation in a Las Vegas alleyway last week, according to police officials.
Undersheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters Monday that Las Vegas Metro Police Detective Daniel Hawkins gave his two attackers ample warning during the encounter that happened in an alleyway on the 1200 block of North Jones Boulevard around 9:40 p.m. last Thursday.
Hawkins, 33, was in the area conducting surveillance in an unrelated shooting case and in plainclothes when he got out of his car and was approached by two men.
Hawkins told investigators he saw a gun in the hand of one of the two men, identified as Thomas Cotton, told the pair he was a police officer and warned them not to do it.
“(Hawkins) told him twice, don’t do it, I’m a cop. Don’t do it, I’m a cop,” McMahill said.
Cotton and the other man continued to advance as Cotton, 48, raised the gun at Hawkins, prompting the detective to pull his own weapon and fire two rounds at Cotton. Cotton was hit once, detained and taken to University Medical Center for treatment, undergoing emergency surgery. He was later booked in absentia at the hospital on one count of assault with a deadly weapon.
The weapon, identified as a replica Crossman air gun revolver, was recovered at the scene.
McMahill said Cotton had a lengthy criminal history, including 112 arrests dating back to 1987 and 11 felony convictions for crimes including robbery, coercion, drug and forgery charges.
“He’s been a longtime customer of the criminal justice system,” McMahill said.
The second suspect fled the scene has not yet been identified.
Hawkins remains on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a department investigation into the incident.