A Las Vegas man who was fatally shot by a police officer Tuesday hid in a bedroom closet before lunging at officers with an 8-inch butcher knife. Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly briefed reporters on the incident Thursday morning, saying officers responded to a western valley apartment complex after receiving calls about a domestic violence incident. Kelly played a short clip at the briefing of a neighbor’s 911 call as well as footage from two officers’ body-worn cameras. The Police Department identified the officer who fired his gun as Officer Kyle Prior, 28. Officers were dispatched to the Bella Vida Apartments complex, on South Cimarron Road and West Charleston Boulevard, at 12:14 a.m. Tuesday. Kelly said the officers spent nearly 10 minutes knocking on the door of the apartment before a woman and a 4-year-old child answered. The woman told the officers there was no one else in the apartment, but officers suspected there was a man inside based on the 911 call. The officers went inside the apartment to look for the man. Footage from the body-worn cameras shows the officers walking through the dark apartment by flashlight. “They could tell someone was inside the residence,” Kelly said.
In the master bedroom’s walk-in closet, officers discovered Pedro Ramirez, 28, of Las Vegas, crouched behind some hanging clothes clutching a stainless steel-handled kitchen knife. The officers immediately issued commands for the man to come out and to drop the knife. Two officers fired their Tasers at the man, but he shrugged it off and ran out of the closet, brandishing the knife. Prior fired three rounds at Ramirez at 12:39 a.m., striking him with each round. Ramirez died at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds. Metro said the man’s wife had visible injuries from a fight with her husband. She told officers Ramirez hid in the closet because he did not want to go to jail. Kelly said the department had responded to two previous domestic violence incidents involving Ramirez in 2016 and 2015. Prior has been placed on routine administrative paid leave as the shooting is investigated. This is the second deadly shooting involving the officer, who joined Metro in 2008 as a civilian employee and became an officer in 2012. In 2015, the Review-Journal reported that Prior, along with two other officers, shot and killed 32-year-old Thomas McEniry.