POLICE: Vehicle inmate stole while escaping from officers contained a gun

Local News

Police say the situation involving an escaped inmate Wednesday that resulted in a police shooting could have been much worse because there was a gun in the truck the inmate stole.  

Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank, with Metro Police, held a briefing Friday to give details of the shooting that happened in the parking lot of a medical center on Maryland Parkway.

Christopher “Gregory” Ganci, 52, was taken to the facility for a routine procedure. He escaped from Metro Officer Phong Nguyen after the procedure as the two were walking to the patrol car in the parking lot.

Hank said Ganci stole a truck that was running in the parking lot. The truck belonged to a man who provides auto detailing to employees at the facility.

“As the truck sped through the parking lot, Officer Phong Nguyen fired three times at Ganci striking the driver’s side window and door. Ganci was struck once in the left bicep. Ganci began driving through the parking lot and then turned northbound on Maryland Parkway,” Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank said.

Officer Nguyen was not wearing a body-worn camera which is required, Hank said

A driver captured video of Ganci as he rammed cars on Maryland Parkway to get through a red light. Four vehicles were damaged.

Ganci led police on a 13-minute chase that ended in downtown Las Vegas with the truck running out of gas. Ganci was transported to the hospital for treatment and then taken into custody. Police say, during the chase, they were alerted there was a gun in the truck.

“It could have been worse,” Hank said. “This citizen actually had a firearm within the vehicle. Thankfully he did run out of gas. We’re grateful no members of our community were injured severely.” 

Ganci, 52, described as a habitual criminal, has Nevada convictions that include robbery with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, battery with deadly weapon, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, prohibited person in possession of a firearm and other charges. He also had arrests in other states.

He was sentenced to life in prison without parole on some of his previous charges. He is now facing new charges of escape by a prisoner, grand larceny auto, battery with deadly weapon and felony evading police.

Police say they are looking at procedures and making adjustments are made to make sure there is sufficient staff any time someone is taken out of the jail to a medical facility for a procedure. 

“Moving forward, we’re requiring two officers to be with any inmate we’re taking outside,” Hank said.

(Metro news conference)

This the 7th officer-involved shooting for Metro since the beginning of the year.

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