LAS VEGAS—A veteran Las Vegas police officer died early Thursday after being shot during an exchange of gunfire with a man who was later arrested, authorities said.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters that Officer Truong Thai was fatally wounded while he and another officer answering a 1 a.m. report of a domestic disturbance stopped a vehicle near a busy crossroads and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, located east of the Las Vegas Strip.

“The suspect was armed with a firearm and fired at our officers,” Lombardo said. “Both responding officers discharged their duty weapons. One officer was struck.”

Thai was wounded in the torso and died at a hospital, Lombardo said.

A woman who was nearby was wounded and was taken to a hospital, where she was expected to survive, police said.

The suspect, Tyson Hampton, 24, of Las Vegas, drove away from the shooting scene and initially refused to surrender when he was stopped several blocks away, Lombardo said. A police dog was used during Hampton’s arrest, and Lombardo said Hampton received minor injuries.

Hampton was due to be booked into the Clark County jail pending an initial court appearance on charges including murder and attempted murder. Records did not immediately reflect if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

“The incident demonstrates the dangers our officers face every day just putting on the uniform and doing their job,” said Lombardo, who did not immediately identify the other officer involved in the shooting.

Officer Truong Thai, 49, in an undated photo. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department via AP)

Thai’s death came during an exceptionally violent week for officers across the country, including in Connecticut where two officers were fatally shot and a third was wounded late Wednesday while answering an emergency call about possible domestic violence.

Police in North Las Vegas shot and killed a man Monday, after they said he pointed a gun at people while wearing a Halloween mask, and officers in neighboring Henderson were involved in a shooting Wednesday although no gunshot injuries were reported.

Also, a Henderson police officer was wounded and a suspect was killed in a shooting on Sept. 26.

The Las Vegas shooting on Thursday was the 10th this year involving officers covering the city and Clark County including the casino-lined Strip.

On Sept. 10, Officer Tierney Tomburo, 24, was wounded but returned fire and killed her alleged assailant, 27-year-old Gabriel Charles, during a foot chase after he ran from a traffic stop near the same spot where Thai was fatally wounded. At that time, a police official identified the area as a hotspot for violent crime.

Thai, 49, joined the Las Vegas police department in 1999, and Lombardo described him as an “honorable” and “commendable” officer. The sheriff declined to fully detail Thai’s career until he said Thai’s ex-wife and daughter had time to mourn.

Thai was a firearms instructor among “many roles over the years,” the department honor guard said on Twitter.

Thai is the first Las Vegas police officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty since October 2017, when Officer Charleston Hartfield was shot and killed by a gunman who opened fire from a high-rise hotel into an open-air concert crowd, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Hartfield was attending the concert.

Two officers, Igor Saldo and Alyn Beck, were killed in an ambush shooting in June 2014 as they sat as a pizza shop.

By Ken Ritter

The Associated Press


You Might Like
Learn more about RevenueStripe...