Washoe DA finds police justified in 2018 shooting death

9mm Glock model 17 pistol used by suspect. A 30-round extended magazine was inserted into the pistol and contained 19 cartridges. Photo courtesy WCDA.
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SPARKS, NV (KOLO) - Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks has found two police officers justified for shooting and killing a man after a chase January 24, 2018.

The DA's Office says the shooting took place when two SPD officers saw 27-year-old Humberto Vera-Munoz speeding through Sparks and chased him, eventually stopping him. He got out of his car, pulled a handgun and fired at one of the officers. Both officers returned fire, hitting and killing Vera-Munoz.

Hicks has released a 27-page report containing the facts of the case, plus photographs, witness accounts, and his legal analysis. The report is available here.

Hicks says the officers were patrolling in the area of Prater Way and Rock Boulevard when they saw a white 2011 Cadillac sedan being driving at a high rate of speed on a neighborhood surface street. They chased the car and followed it as the driver pulled into an apartment complex on 15th Street. Even though police were using lights and siren, the driver continued to travel through the parking lot, then quickly stopped.

The report indicates that according to both officers and the patrol vehicle camera system, the driver came to an abrupt stop in the east end of the apartment complex. Both officers got out of their car, and Vera-Munoz did the same.

Police placed him at gunpoint and told him to raise his hands, at which point he fired a single shot at one officer. It missed, but hit a nearby apartment building. Both officers returned fire.

Reno Police, who conducted the investigation into the shooting based on officer-involved shooting protocol, recommended no criminal charges against the Sparks officers, and Hicks agreed, saying, "the facts illustrate that both officers had a reasonable belief that Vera-Munoz posed an immediate threat of serious physical harm or death. After a prolonged pursuit that resulted in Vera-Munoz refusing to stop on multiple occasions, he exiting his vehicle armed with a heavily loaded pistol before firing from close range."

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