Report: Suspect in shooting of Douglas cop killed himself
September 1, 2005
The suspect in the April 2 shooting of a Douglas County deputy died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, District Attorney Scott Doyle said Thursday.
The district attorney’s office completed its investigation Aug. 24 of the shooting death of Joshua Abel Petri, 27.
Petri was a passenger in a truck that was pulled over for a traffic violation early April 2.
Deputy Robert Duffy followed the truck, driven by Justin Fields, 24, into the Kingslane Mobile Home Park in Gardnerville.
Petri was accused of exiting the truck, racing into his parents’ mobile home and returning with a shotgun, which he fired at Duffy, blowing a hole in the deputy’s left hand.
Other deputies arrived on the scene and placed Petri in handcuffs. He managed to get away and go back in the mobile home and shoot himself in the head, even though he was still handcuffed.
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At the time of the shooting, department spokesman Sgt. Tom Mezzetta said Petri was able to maneuver the right handcuff about three inches up his arm, which allowed him to bring the handgun up and around his torso to fire the shot.
He was found dead in his father’s bedroom, handcuffed, with a .410-gauge handgun by his hand.
Doyle said results of a toxicology report on Petri are confidential by decree of the Nevada Attorney General’s Office. He said there was eyewitness testimony that Petri had been consuming alcohol prior to the events of the morning.
Fields was charged with speeding and failure to use a signal. He pleaded guilty Wednesday to the signal charge and was fined $91.
Doyle said the investigation took five months to complete for several reasons.
“In cases which are not subject to speedy trial limitations, preparation of these types of reports need to take a back seat to more urgent reports,” Doyle said.
He said the sheriff’s department is still completing its report on officers’ response to the shooting.
With Fields’ conviction on the traffic violation, the criminal side of the case is closed, Doyle said.
Duffy returned to work with the sheriff’s department Aug. 22. He has undergone five surgeries to repair the damage to his left hand and said he hopes to be back on patrol within a month.
– Contact reporter Sheila Gardner at email@example.com or 782-5121, ext. 214.
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