Metro: NHP trooper, 3 parole and probation officers fired 26 rounds after seeing suspect grab downed trooper’s gun

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Metro, the Nevada Highway Patrol and the Nevada Department of Public Safety (DPS) held a news conference to discuss additional details in the July 27 shooting involving NHP troopers and the Nevada Division of Parole and Probation on I-15.

FULL NEWS CONFERENCE BELOW:

Metro Undersheriff Christopher Darcy says the incident, which began around 11:19 a.m., was classified as a carjacking, robbery with a deadly weapon. The OIS occurred on I-15 at Spring Mountain Road, south of Sahara.

Metro responded to the reported carjacking at Sunset and Las Vegas boulevards. The victim told police he and a coworker were working at a construction site when the latter saw the suspect, 60-year-old Douglas Claiborne, sitting in the victim’s car.

The victim yelled at the suspect to get out and tried opening the doors, which he found to be locked. Claiborne then brandished a large kitchen knife, threatened him and started the car with the keys that were left inside. The suspect took off, running over the victim’s foot.

Darcy listed Claiborne’s weapons as the kitchen knife and a 2020 Hyundai sedan, classified as the deadly weapon.

Around 11:50 a.m., NHP troopers located the stolen vehicle traveling northbound on I-15 and attempted a traffic stop. Claiborne kept driving, eventually making a U-turn and driving southbound. Police released new footage of the pursuit, which showed him exiting and reentering the freeway, driving erratically and dangerously. He did this several times.

Troopers continuously deployed stop-sticks, but Claiborne was able to drive around them.

“Stop-sticks, tire deflation devices, were deployed numerous times,” said Darcy during the conference, “Yet Claiborne was able to maneuver around them.”

Footage from the pursuit of Claiborne

Around 12:18 p.m., Trooper Micah May was laying stop-sticks in the area of the Neon Gateway, near Charleston Boulevard, when Claiborne went around them and intentionally drove toward and hit the trooper.

Douglas Claiborne booking photos from 2007 and 2020.

The suspect continued driving, even after May had been lodged into the stolen vehicle’s windshield. Several NHP units rammed the vehicle, forcibly stopping it at I-15 SB and Spring Mountain.

Darcy says one trooper and three parole and probation officers got out of their vehicles and saw Claiborne grabbing May’s gun. They then fired a total of 26 rounds at the suspect.

Those involved were identified as:

  • NHP Trooper Joseph DellaBella, 51
  • Parole and Probation Officer Derek Simmons, 30
  • Parole and Probation Officer Garrett Dix, 28
  • ]Parole and Probation Officer Luis Villanueva, 28

Claiborne was struck several times and died on scene. The Clark County Coroner reported he was shot in the head and torso.

Troopers got May out of the car and began life-saving measures before a Metro helicopter landed on I-15. That unit transported the fallen trooper to UMC.

NHP Trooper Micah May. (Nevada Highway Patrol)

Darcy says they believe this is the first time the department’s air unit has been used to land on the freeway and transport a downed officer to the hospital.

May passed away on July 29, leaving behind his wife and two children.

George Togliatti, director of the Nevada Department of Safety, shared a message on behalf of his department and May’s family:

We would like to thank the kind people of our Las Vegas community, our University Medical Center (UMC), so many local businesses and organizations, our law enforcement partners, who have been terrific, our firefighters, first responders, our tow truck drivers and many more wonderful people for their overwhelming support and amount of caring that they have displayed to our department, but more importantly, to the May family. Thank you very much.”

George Togliatti, director of the Nevada Department of Public Safety

If Claiborne had survived, he would’ve faced charges of murder of a protected person, robbery with a deadly weapon, grand larceny auto and felony evading.

The I-Team first revealed Claiborne’s identity and uncovered his history of methamphetamine drug use and lengthy criminal history.

A candlelight vigil is planned for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Police Memorial Park in the northwest valley. Face masks will be on sale, and all the proceeds will go to May’s family.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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