One dead, deputy injured in Gardnerville shootout
Nevada Appeal News Service
One man is dead and a sheriff’s deputy injured after a 4:15 a.m. traffic stop Saturday erupted in gunfire in a Gardnerville mobile home park.
Residents of Kingslane Mobile Home Park were awakened by shouting and gunfire after a suspect opened fire on officers.
Neither the name of the dead man nor of the injured deputy were released on Saturday.
Sheriff Ron Pierini said the incident began when a deputy conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle containing three people. Authorities are still investigating what prompted the stop.
One of the people in the car fled from the vehicle and a search began with several officers arriving to help. As the other two occupants of the vehicle were being detained, officers were fired upon.
At least one of the officers fired back, and it is believed he hit the suspect in the hand.
A search was conducted for the man, which led deputies to a mobile home in the 1300 block of Kingslane Court. There were people inside when the man entered the home.
At some point during the incident, the man came back out and fired at officers again then retreated back into the home. During the course of the incident the people inside the home left.
Officers called for reinforcements including the special weapons and tactics team and the sheriff’s office armored personnel carrier.
When officers entered the home at about 8:10 a.m., the man was dead. Investigators are still probing whether he died by his own hand or police gunfire.
Blood spattered the street outside the home and a police nightstick remained on the road as investigators tried to piece together what happened.
Kingslane resident Linda Skaggs, who watched as officers worked Saturday morning, said her dog awakened her at about 4 a.m.
“I heard yelling and looked down the street,” she said. “I could see the lights from the sheriff officer’s car.”
Skaggs said Zoe growled, something the dog doesn’t normally do, so she retreated back into her home.
“I heard about eight gunshots and saw the Sheriff’s SUV start backing up with another officer running alongside and yelling that shots were fired into his radio,” she said. “It looked like the SUV was giving the other officer protection.”
She said she heard shooting again and both she and her husband hit the ground. She called 911 and the operator told her they were already aware of the incident.
Skaggs’ son lives next door and she said she started calling his house to make sure they were OK after more shots went off.
“It was very scary,” she said.
Pierini estimated at least 70 officers responded to the shooting, including those from Carson City, the Nevada Highway Patrol and the Washoe Tribe.
Highway 395 was closed off at Gilman Avenue and Waterloo Lane until about 9:25 a.m.
Pierini said this is the first time since he joined the department in 1976 that an officer has been injured by gunfire.
The deputy was taken to Washoe Medical Center by CareFlight helicopter. His injury is not life threatening, Pierini said.
Some residents were allowed to leave the area after officers checked their vehicles. Most remained inside their homes.
Pierini said both criminal and administrative investigations will be conducted in the incident. An administrative review is part of the process of investigating an officer-involved shooting.