Las Vegas police recently released body camera video of a dramatic shooting involving a Utah man killed by an officer during a routine traffic stop last week.
James Michael Todora, 54, can be seen in the video, released Tuesday, exiting from his gold Jeep Grand Cherokee and arguing with police before being ordered back inside.
Todora said he thought he was being pulled over for going to the home of his estranged wife, whom he had an argument and violent altercation with days earlier.
Patrol officer Brian Kroening asked Todora if he had any weapons in the vehicle, to which the suspect responded he had several rifles in the vehicle.
At one point Todora said he wasn’t going back to jail and Kroening said he never said he was going to arrest him.
“Do me a favor, just step out really quick, because I don’t feel safe with your rifle in there,” Kroening said.
Todora refused to exit the vehicle after repeated requests from Kroening, so the officer grabbed the suspect’s arm.
“I’m going to shoot myself,” Todora said.
The suspect then reportedly reached for his gun after a brief tussle with Kroening and fired, grazing 28-year-old rookie officer Evan Hogue’s neck, Fox 13 reported.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office on Monday confirmed Todora, who was shot by Kroening, died on the scene, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
Some 400 Las Vegas police are at the tail end of a yearlong study analyzing the effects of officers wearing body cameras, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The study is being conducted with assistance from the National Institute of Justice and nonprofit research organization CNA Corporation.
Some 200 of the officers involved in the study will act as a control group and the remaining will wear the body cameras until the conclusion of the study toward the end of the year.