Deputy Cleared in Officer-Involved Shooting Death

By: James Steiner
By: James Steiner

The Washoe County District Attorney's office has completed its investigation into an officer-involved shooting in January of a Sparks man.

Tuesday, Deputy Luke Miller was cleared of any wrong doing in the fatal shooting of Ian Dunwoodie.

Where does the case go from here?

Internal Affairs will be looking into whether Deputy Miller followed all the policies and procedures of the Washoe County Sheriff's Office when it comes to firing your weapon.

But, District Attorney Dick Gammick said the the circumstances surrounding Dunwoodie's death left Miller with no choice but to shoot.

District Attorney Dick Gammick says a concerned, nervous Ian Dunwoodie showed up for court January 28th on a disturbing the peace charge. He says Dunwoodie had taken his roommate's car without permission - and had been drinking that morning.

"Dunwoodie blew a .50 and then a .80 on the preliminary breath test," Gammick said.

The orders of the court showed Dunwoodie could not drink based on a prior drunk driving charge.

Gammick says Dunwoodie knew he could face jail time if it was determined he had been drinking, so he ran from the building to the parking lot.

Gammick said a coourt marshall then gave chase as Dunwoddie fled: "Marshal Andrea Ranier chased Dunwoodie into the parking lot, yelling for him to stop and return to court."

Instead, Gammick says Dunwoodie jumped into his car and tried to speed off.

During a struggle, the marshal and security officer Robert Robbins, who saw what was going on, got tangled up with the car.

"Robbins ended up underneath the car panel and was not able to get free," Gammick said. "He was drugged out into the parking lot."

Deputy Luke Miller was at the courthouse transporting an inmate for work detail, when he came to help. Gammick says all three people were yelling at Dunwoodie to stop backing up and turn off the engine.

Dunwoodie stalled for a second and Deputy Miller shot three or four rounds at the tires to disable the car. Gammick says Dunwoodie continued to slam on the gas.

At this time, "Miller fired one shot into Dunwoodie's chest," Gammick said.

Robbins was then able to jar himself free.

Dunwoodie took off onto C Street, where he crashed into the side of a garage. He later died at the hospital from a single gunshot wound.

Speaking of the death, Gammick said: "Tragic loss of life over a misdemeanor offense - Dunwoodie contributed greatly to his death."

Even though the criminal investigation is over, Internal Affairs still hasn't come up with its findings. Investigators will be looking into whether Deputy Miller acted appropriately when he shot and killed Dunwoodie.

"We're seeing if he violated any rules and regulations, as well as any department policies," said Lt. Lisa Haney.

Dunwoodie's blood alcohol level ended up being .099, according to the autopsy report. Gammick says his drinking that morning most likely influenced his actions.

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