A video still of Jorge Gomez in late May, walking past police on the Las Vegas Strip during protests of the police killing of George Floyd. (Video courtesy LVMPD.) A video still of Jorge Gomez in late May, walking past police on the Las Vegas Strip during protests of the police killing of George Floyd. (Video courtesy LVMPD.)
The lead investigator into the fatal shooting of a 25-year old Las Vegas man at the hands of Metropolitan Police contradicted the department’s own report as well as his own investigation during a fact-finding hearing Friday.
Jason Leavitt, of Metro’s Force Investigation Team, testified police fired non-lethal rounds at Jorge Gomez after he ran from them during a June 1 Black Lives Matter protest.
“At 11:21 an officer started to approach Gomez,” Leavitt read from a powerpoint timeline, reportedly based on his investigation. “Gomez then runs northbound. At that time, low-lethal bean bag shotgun was fired at Gomez.”
But the officer who shot the bean bags, John Squeo, told investigators in a written statement it was the non-lethal rounds he fired at Gomez that sent the 25 year old running head-on into oncoming officers, who fired 19 rounds, killing Gomez.
Attorneys representing Gomez’ family in a federal lawsuit have contended the actions of the police prompted the young man to run.
Metro’s Key Findings, Conclusions and/or Recommendations, posted on the department’s website, also says it was Squeo’s non-lethal shots that made Gomez flee.
“As the officers made their way toward Gomez, he moved his hands toward his waist area. The low lethal shotgun officer perceived Gomez was going to use the baseball bat against the approaching officers,” says the report. “The officer used the low lethal shotgun, discharging multiple bean bag rounds at Gomez, striking him in the torso area. Immediately after