LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The lawyer of a family from Henderson whose young son was kidnapped and shot to death said police have not yet answered some important questions about the 2020 incident that he and the family need to know.

Las Vegas attorney Roger P. Croteau spoke with the 8 News Now Investigators after a four-hour fact-finding hearing at Clark County Government Center on Monday.

Croteau said police rushed the Cadillac Escalade, inside of which kidnapper Jason “Neo” Bourne and 12-year-old Joseph Hawatmeh, were ultimately shot to death, instead of decelerating the situation or engaging in hostage negotiations.

The Hawatmeh family did not want to speak to the media after the hearing. Croteau is representing the family and the estate of Joseph Hawatmeh in a civil rights lawsuit against Henderson, its police department and the individual officers and supervisors involved in the events of Nov. 3, 2020. He said Henderson police have denied Freedom of Information Act requests he filed, and still haven’t released the Escalade for his forensic experts to examine.

Clark County District Attorney Elizabeth Mercer conducted the bulk of the hearing, during which she walked Henderson Police Detective Rick Christopher through the timeline of events, including 911 calls, witness testimony, forensic evidence, police body camera video, crime scene photographs and autopsy records.

“The investigation revealed that we believe Jason Bourne was responsible for those gunshot wounds,” Christopher said at the hearing.

Based on that comment, 8 News Now Investigators asked Mercer if she was certain that Bourne killed Joseph Hawatmeh.

“I think the detective is certain,” she said. Mercer also admitted that none of the bullets that killed Hawatame had been “retained.”

“We know he was alive after the first shot,” Croteau said. “Is that really the end of the case? Or that it [the outcome] could have been different and diverted and everyone walks away alive,”

Croteau pointed out that police body camera footage from the day of the shootings showed one Henderson police officer preparing to use a megaphone in the moments preceding the gunfire.

To that end, the hearing’s ombudsman representing the people of Clark County focused some of his questions to Christopher about the location of the Henderson police SWAT team during the hostage situation and the existence and significance of bullets that were fired into the inside of the passenger door to the Escalade where Joseph Hawatmeh was sitting and eventually killed.

“Are you aware of whether or not there was a plan in place or a radio call for a hostage negotiator,” Ombudsman and Las Vegas attorney Josh Tomsheck asked Christopher, who said that indeed a negotiation team had been requested.

“Ultimately, what we see on the body-worn camera plays out before that could happen,” Tomsheck said.

Authorities had already determined, prior to the hearing Monday, that nobody, including police, would face any charges stemming from the shootings. Had police apprehended Bourne prior to the shootout Bourne would have faced charges of murder, kidnapping, burglary and the attempted grand larceny of the Escalade. Each of those charges would have been enhanced with a deadly weapon charge because Bourne was wielding, and using, a Sig Sauer P229 .40 caliber semiautomatic weapon and had dozens of rounds of live ammunition with him in the Escalade.

Police said Bourne purchased that weapon in Tucson, Arizona, in 2013 when he was still known by his given name, Christopher Curry. Bourne changed his name from Curry because he was fascinated with the rogue CIA Agent made famous by the actor Matt Damon. The middle name “Neo” is a reference to the character played by the actor Keanu Reeves in the Matrix series of Hollywood movies.

Police testified at the hearing that Bourne had become increasingly erratic after his second tour of duty in Iraq. Bourne had worked for the United States Air Force for 18 years prior to being laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic.