Pahrump man fires at of­fi­cers, shot dead

Footage shows sus­pect act­ing er­rat­i­cally

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - NEVADA - By Rio La­can­lale Las Ve­gas Re­view-jour­nal

A deputy shot and killed a

Pahrump man Thurs­day night after he opened fire dur­ing a stand­off with of­fi­cers, mark­ing the first of­fi­cer-in­volved shoot­ing this year for the Nye County Sher­iff ’s Of­fice.

Body-worn cam­era footage of the en­counter re­leased Fri­day showed the sus­pect, iden­ti­fied by the sher­iff ’s of­fice as 46-year-old Ja­son Paul O’ban­non, yelling, be­hav­ing er­rat­i­cally and fir­ing sev­eral shots as of­fi­cers at­tempted to ne­go­ti­ate with him.

The deputy who shot O’ban­non has been iden­ti­fied as De­tec­tive Wes­ley Fancher, 34. He is a SWAT team and gen­eral as­sign­ment de­tec­tive and has been em­ployed with the sher­iff ’s of­fice for eight years.

Fancher ac­ti­vated his body-worn cam­era when he ar­rived at the scene, but the cam­era fell at one point when Fancher dropped to the ground to take cover after the sus­pect opened fire, Nye County Sher­iff Sharon Wehrly said at a news con­fer­ence.

The three short videos re­leased Fri­day were in­stead cap­tured by the body-worn cam­eras of two other of­fi­cers who re­sponded to the scene.

Shortly after 8:10 p.m. Thurs­day, of­fi­cers were called to 2241 North Kelso Way in Pahrump, where O’ban­non was “ac­tively shoot­ing” in his yard, Wehrly said. Peo­ple were “hun­kered down” in a nearby desert area and in­side their homes dur­ing the stand­off, spokesman David Boru­chowitz said.

One of the videos played dur­ing the news con­fer­ence showed an of­fi­cer ar­riv­ing at the scene about 8:20 p.m. As she ex­its her ve­hi­cle, O’ban­non can be faintly heard in the back­ground scream­ing. It is not clear what he is say­ing.

Over a speaker, the of­fi­cer yells to O’ban­non, “Nye County Sher­iff ’s

Of­fice. I can­not hear you.”

The sus­pect re­sponded with one gun­shot, the video showed be­fore cut­ting off. Wehrly said O’ban­non was armed with a ri­fle.

An­other clip by the same of­fi­cer cap­tured Fancher ar­riv­ing at the scene, though the video is dark and only shows lights in the dis­tance.

The fe­male of­fi­cer can be heard di­rect­ing Fancher to the sus­pect, whis­per­ing, “He’s right in front of me.”

Mo­ments later, sev­eral rounds of gun­fire are heard.

Wehrly said Fancher fired four rounds at 9:23 p.m. after O’ban­non pointed his weapon at him. O’ban­non was taken to Desert View Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter, where he was pro­nounced dead. No one else was in­jured dur­ing the en­counter.

O’ban­non had a “lengthy crim­i­nal his­tory” in Cal­i­for­nia and Ne­vada dat­ing to 1998, ac­cord­ing to Wehrly. Charges in­cluded ve­hi­cle theft, evad­ing a peace of­fi­cer, bat­tery on a pro­tected per­son, pos­ses­sion of a stolen ve­hi­cle and rob­bery.

Had he sur­vived, Wehrly said, O’ban­non would have faced a charge of dis­charg­ing a firearm across a road­way, a weapons charge for be­ing a pro­hib­ited per­son in pos­ses­sion of a firearm and seven counts of as­sault with a deadly weapon on a pro­tected per­son.

Fancher has been placed on paid leave pend­ing the out­come of am in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his deadly use of force. An out­side in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Ne­vada In­ves­ti­ga­tion Di­vi­sion also will be con­ducted “to en­sure we acted in ac­cor­dance to state and fed­eral laws,” Wehrly said.

Con­tact Rio La­can­lale at rla­can­[email protected]­viewjour­nal.com or 702-383-0381. Fol­low @ri­o­la­can­lale on Twit­ter.

Ja­son Paul O’ban­non

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