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Police believe man acted in self-defense in shooting death

Originally ran here as:
"Police believe man acted in self-defense in slaying"
by J.M. Kalil, Staff Writer
Las Vegas Review-Journal
May 02, 2002

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Las Vegas police believe a man was acting in self-defense early Wednesday when he shot his 43-year-old neighbor to death in the southeast valley.

The Clark County coroner's office has not released the name of the man killed about 3:05 a.m. at the Canyon Willow Apartments, near Eastern and Tropicana avenues.

Police declined to release the name of the 22-year-old shooter because he has not been charged with a crime.

Lt. Tom Monahan said police received a 911 call reporting a family disturbance outside an apartment at the complex, 3014 Casey Drive.

A 22-year-old man and his grandfather, in his 60s, from a neighboring family responded to the disturbance because they heard a woman screaming, police said.

"They went over to make sure somebody wasn't getting beaten to death," Monahan said.

When they got to the apartment, the 43-year-old man confronted them and a fight broke out in which the men pummeled each other with fists, police said.

During the fight, the 43-year-old man picked up a wooden footstool and approached the grandfather, Monahan said.

At that point, the 22-year-old man pulled out a handgun, the lieutenant said.

"The 22-year-old kid says, 'I've got a gun. Don't do it. Don't do it,' " Monahan said. "When he didn't cease, the kid shot him."

Paramedics responded, but the 43-year-old was dead from a gunshot wound to the head when they arrived.

Monahan said police did not arrest the shooter because homicide detectives believe he used deadly force in self-defense.

Monahan said the 22-year-old, his grandfather and independent witnesses told police the same story of how the incident unfolded.

Investigative reports on the case will be submitted to the Clark County district attorney's office. Prosecutors there will determine whether charges are warranted, Monahan said.

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