Las Vegas Sun

November 28, 2014

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Woman dies from officer-involved shooting

A 42-year-old woman, who police said made threatening gestures with a knife, was shot Tuesday by a Henderson officer and later died at a local hospital, according to a police report.

Deshira Selimaj was taken to Sunrise Hospital after the incident at 3:10 p.m. She died Tuesday night, Henderson police spokesman Todd Rasmussen said.

Police say the confrontation began when the woman's husband, 65-year-old Zyber Selimaj, was stopped for speeding near Sunridge Heights and Pecos Ridge, south of Coronado High School at 2:15 p.m.

The Albanian couple both drove ice cream trucks.

The man became agitated and refused to sign the traffic citation. The officer believed that a language barrier existed and called Selimaj's wife so she could explain that the citation required him to go to court.

When Deshira Selimaj arrived at the scene, she had two sons, 7 years and 11-years-old, with her, police said.

At some point, she went to her truck and returned with a knife and officers said she grabbed one of her sons and held the knife near his throat while making "suicidal statements," police said.

Officers separated the boy from his mother, but she continued to disobey police commands for her to drop the knife. She made an aggressive move toward an officer with the knife still in her hand and the officer fired his handgun once in self-defense, striking the woman in the torso.

She was taken to Sunrise Hospital where she later died from her injuries, police said. Her husband was arrested and charged with speeding in a school zone, failing to stop at a stop sign and obstructing a police officer. He is being held at Henderson Detention Center.

The two boys were taken to Child Haven in protective custody.

The 23-year-old officer has been with the department for two years and has been placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is being investigated, Rasmussen said.

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