I-Team Sources: Man suspected of hitting trooper had long criminal history

I-Team

CORRECTION: Douglas Claiborne was accused of spitting in a man’s face in a March 10, 2020, incident. The man who was spit on was a security officer who then made a citizen’s arrest. The story has been updated to reflect this fact.


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The I-Team has learned the name of the suspect in Tuesday’s police chase on Interstate 15 that left a Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) trooper critically injured.

Sources say 60-year-old Douglas Claiborne had a lengthy criminal history.

His attorney tells us he would go back and forth between Hawaii and Las Vegas. Claiborne’s father says the Clark County Coroner contacted his family. Both expressed sorrow for what happened.

According to NHP, the car being driven during the chase was stolen. Trooper Micah May was putting stop-sticks on the road when the suspect hit him, sending him through the windshield.

Claiborne didn’t stop until the car was rammed.

“Oh, my God!” shouted witness Ada Burns in one video.

Claiborne was shot and killed by police, and May was carried by fellow officers to a Metro helicopter and transported to UMC. The Clark County Coroner’s Office confirmed Claiborne’s identity on Thursday, and said he died of gunshot wounds to the head and torso.

Rick McCann, executive director of the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers, says officers at the scene believed Claiborne may have been reaching for May’s weapon after he had gone through the windshield.

“At that point in time, the officers involved apparently open fire, I’m sure believing that either their lives, the troopers’ lives or the community’s lives were at stake, at risk,” McCann said. “And that’s what they’re trained to do.”

Claiborne’s criminal history spans multiple states, including Nevada, Iowa, Texas and Hawaii. His father and attorney both tell the I-Team he struggled with methamphetamine.

We obtained two of his mugshots, the left from Dallas in 2007 and the right from Las Vegas in 2020.

On the night of March 10, 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was hitting Las Vegas, Claiborne was accused of spitting in a security officer’s face. The officer then made a citizen’s arrest, and Claiborne was taken into custody at the Palazzo and accused of battery. Court records reveal the Clark County District Attorney’s Office declined to move forward with the case.

His attorney also confirms previous arrests for robbery, assault, making a terror threat, abusing family and felony drug charges. According to records, Claiborne was released from the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu on October 2, 2019, after being part of a plan with a corrections officer and his brother to smuggle drugs into a jail.

Claiborne’s father believes his son must have been on meth during his alleged crime rampage Tuesday.

His father and attorney also tell us he had money. He was the beneficiary of a trust fund and drove a Porsche at one point, his lawyer says, but the drugs took over.

If Claiborne had survived, he’d likely be accused of trying to take an officer’s life.

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