Las Vegas Police Shed Light on Homicide Investigations - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas Police Shed Light on Homicide Investigations

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LAS VEGAS - Metro Police homicide detectives woke up Tuesday morning to Las Vegas' 61st murder. A teen was shot to death near Oakey Boulevard and Santa Paula Drive.

Hours earlier, investigators arrived at a home near Las Vegas Boulevard and Pecos Road, where officers shot and killed a man they say pointed a weapon at them.

Detective Dean O'Kelley has investigated homicides for eight years. He and his partner solved all of the cases assigned to them last year. At this month's First Tuesday meeting, he talked to the public and gave a presentation about how his department works, responds to murders, and presents solid evidence to the district attorney.

"Typically, what we do is respond to a scene, and work together to determine what evidence is going to be important, and how that evidence should be documented," he said. "We're going to walk through a scene together and determine the best approach to handle the crime scene."

He says the approach is much more diligent and slower than what we see on TV shows like "CSI".

"You're going to see a more lengthy process," he said. "You can't get something done in 10 minutes. You don't get DNA back in just a few seconds. You don't get a ballistics analysis done and back to you in that short a period of time."

The technology featured on prime-time TV, however, isn't far-fetched.

"Most of the processes you see on a crime show, they are available. But, some of them have to be sent out across the country and take quite a bit of time to come back," O'Kelley said.

Another key element involved with dealing with homicides is the emotional aspect, which is why trained volunteers are called in to provide emotional first aid.

"It's dealing with a lot of people, some people who don't want us there," said one Trauma Intervention Program member. "So, you have to figure out who wants you there in scenes."

Detective O'Kelley says the number of murders this year is down compared with last year. He offers no explanation for the decline. 

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