LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Assistant Sheriff John McGrath of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) held a news conference Thursday at 11 a.m. to discuss additional details of the Oct. 4 officer-involved shooting. The suspect, identified as Demetrius Roberts, 21, was shot and killed by officers, and a woman was wounded during the incident.
According to police, the shooting occurred just after 6:30 p.m. at an apartment complex on Silver Dollar Avenue, near Pennwood Avenue and Arville Street.
Police say officers from LVMPD’s gang unit were conducting surveillance on a vehicle that had previously fled from officers during a traffic stop. The officers were in an unmarked vehicle and were dressed in plain clothes.
Police say, this time, the officers noticed a woman and Roberts in an argument as they walked towards the vehicle officers were surveilling. The plainclothes officers requested a marked patrol unit to respond.
Officer Theron Young and Officer Joel Blasko were riding together in a marked patrol unit and arrived in the alley seconds after the request was made, according to police.
The officers were dispatched to what was described as a “possible domestic battery” and were immediately met with gunfire upon arrival, according to police.
“Everyone’s tensions are high in those situations. You never know what’s going to happen. And it’s just an example of when officers go on a call, it is unexpected what will happen then,” Assistant Sheriff John McGrath said.
Investigators said officers returned fire and Roberts, “took off” with a firearm in hand. After a brief chase, officers located Roberts again.
Police say Roberts fired nine rounds when officers were approaching him and tried to hide in front of his mother’s car with his 2-yr-old son inside. Police say, he continued to fire through the car.
Officers again opened fire, killing the 21-year-old man.
Assistant Sheriff John McGrath says officers immediately began to provide first aid. Medical personnel responded and pronounced Roberts deceased on scene.
Police say the officer-involved shooting incident happened in the alley, and that Roberts’ mother was dropping off the child to the ex-girlfriend who lived at the apartment complex.
Police say the woman who was with Roberts is his ex-girlfriend and that she was wounded by gunfire during the incident. She was treated at a nearby hospital and released.
An officer was also treated and released by medical personnel at the scene after being struck by bullet fragments.
Assistant Sheriff John McGrath said regarding the possible domestic violence call, “We’re all concerned. We’re doing everything we can to lower the incidents of domestic violence especially repeated calls to the same address. We try to get assistance to those victims, Assistant Sheriff John McGrath added.
The officers involved in the incident have been identified as Officer Theron Young, 35, and Officer Joel Blasko, 31, both employed with the LVMPD since 2014 and assigned to the Investigative Services Division, Gang/Vice Bureau.
Investigation revealed Officer Young fired 26 rounds during this incident, and Officer Blasko fired three rounds during the incident.
Metro police say Officer Young’s gun malfunctioned twice during the incident.
If Roberts survived, police say he would have been charged with:
- Attempted murder on a police officer, two counts
- Shooting into an occupied vehicle
- Child endangerment
Both officers were placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a review of this incident.
This shooting was the 7th shooting involving Metro Police officers in 2021.
The LVMPD Force Investigation Team is conducting the investigation into the officers’ use of force in this incident. The findings will be forwarded to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office for review.
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact the LVMPD Force Investigation Team at 702-828-8452. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555, or on the internet at www.crimestoppersofnv.com.