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December 22, 2014

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They saw Selimaj shot

Coroner’s inquest begins today in Henderson officer’s fatal shooting of woman

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Las Vegas Sun File

Authorities investigate the scene where Deshira Selimaj was shot and killed by Henderson Police Officer Luke Morrison on Feb. 12. A two-day coroner’s inquest begins today at which witnesses to the shooting are expected to testify.

Deshira Selimaj

Deshira Selimaj

When a courtroom fills this morning for the opening of a two-day coroner’s inquest into the Feb. 12 police slaying of a 42-year-old ice cream truck driver, 10 witnesses interviewed by an investigator working for the victim’s family will be wondering whether they’ll wind up on the witness stand.

Here is a breakdown of what nine of the 10 witnesses told the Sun they saw that afternoon. The tenth witness is being kept secret by the attorneys 42-year-old Deshira Selimaj’s husband hired after the shooting. If the inquest doesn’t go the way the family wants, Selimaj’s lawyers say they’ll release the incriminating testimony of the tenth witness.

The entire inquest is to be broadcast live on Las Vegas ONE, Cox cable channel 19, starting at 9 a.m. Thursday. At the conclusion, the jury is to decide whether 23-year-old Henderson Police Officer Luke Morrison’s shooting of Selimaj was justified, excusable or criminal.

  • Witness
    Distance From Shooting
    What Witness Saw
    Saw a Knife?
    Interviewed by Police?
    Subpoenaed to Testify?

  • (1)

    Real estate agent in her mid-40s
    About 50 feet
    The older Selimaj son, 11-year-old Alban, frisked by police after he left his mother's side. Four police officers with their guns drawn. Deshira shot with Taser. When Deshira attempted to get up, a gunshot. Deshira was almost on the ground when she was shot.
    No
    Yes
    Yes

  • (2)

    Homemaker in her early 30s
    Less than 100 feet
    The younger son, 5-year-old Arber, crying hysterically. Then four police officers standing around Deshira with their guns drawn. Deshira backing away from police when she was shot with a Taser, then attempting to get up when the gunshot rang out.
    No
    Yes
    Yes

  • (3)

    Man in his late 30s
    30 to 40 yards
    Police firing a Taser at Deshira. Deshira falling forward onto her knees as an officer "whipped" the Taser leads and prongs in her body. Deshira trying to push herself up and falling forward. The pop of a firearm and an officer approaching Deshira, putting a boot on her neck and pulling out the Taser prongs. Police then propping Deshira up on the curb "like a rag doll."
    No
    Yes
    Yes

  • (4)

    Woman in her mid-40s
    Less than 50 feet
    Deshira standing with a small knife near two children. (Witness did not realize Deshira was the boys' mother.) Observed Deshira to be bewildered, confused and tired. Deshira did not approach police with the knife. Saw Deshira sit down and assumed the incident was over. When she returned home, she learned Deshira had been shot.
    Yes
    Yes
    Unknown

  • (5)

    Business owner in his early 40s
    Less than 100 feet
    Officers with guns drawn on Deshira and children. Kids left their mother's side before Deshira was shot with a Taser. Deshira attempted to get up and was shot. She fell to the ground, then police sat her up along the curb.
    No
    Yes
    Yes

  • (6)

    Homemaker in her mid-40s
    About 50 feet
    Two police officers with their guns drawn and pointed at Deshira. Deshira appeared to be afraid and stepped back toward her ice cream truck while the children looked. Noticed the children leaving their mother's side and being picked up by police officers. Assumed that Deshira and her children must have been trying to escape from someone in the ice cream truck. Did not hear the gunshot.
    No
    Yes
    Unknown

  • (7)

    Business owner in his late 40s
    30 to 40 yards
    Three officers with guns drawn and pointed at a panicked Deshira, who was motioning her kids out of the line of fire. Deshira frantically yelling, then suddenly sitting down. Deshira shot while trying to get back on her feet.
    No
    Yes
    Yes

  • (8)

    High school student
    30 to 40 yards, in car with Witness 7, her father.
    The same as Witness 7. Also, Deshira telling police officers, "I am very tired."
    No
    Yes
    Unknown

  • (9)

    Homemaker in her late 40s
    Less than 50 feet
    At least four police officers surrounding Deshira, who was motioning to her kids to leave the area. The children hiding behind a nearby electrical box as Deshira, waving her hands frantically in the air, was shot with a Taser. As Deshira tried to right herself, heard the pop of a firearm.
    No
    Yes
    Unknown

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