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December 17, 2014

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Metro identifies officers who fatally shot man armed with knife

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Jackie Valley

Metro Police investigate after officers fatally shot 23-year-old Rafael Alonso Olivas on July 14, 2011, in the western Las Vegas Valley.

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Metro Police identified two officers Saturday who fatally shot a 23-year-old man armed with a butcher knife Thursday morning in a western Las Vegas Valley neighborhood.

The officers were identified as Christopher Grivas, 30, and David Hager, 33. Both have been with Metro since June 2005 and both are assigned to the Patrol Division in Metro's Northwest Area Command.

Police responded at 6:46 a.m. Thursday to the report of a domestic disturbance in the 7700 block of Musical Lane near the intersection of Firestone Drive and Westcliff Drive. That location is southwest of the Buffalo Drive and Summerlin Parkway interchange.

Metro Police Capt. Patrick Neville said a woman reported she was having an argument with her son.

Police arrived and found the man, identified as Rafael Olivas, with a butcher knife walking southbound on Firestone Drive. Neville said the man approached officers after authorities made several commands for him to stop.

The officers discharged non-lethal rounds at Olivas, striking him four times, but he continued toward officers with the knife, police said. Officers then fired multiple gunshots at the man after Neville said officers feared for their lives. Olivas was pronounced dead at University Medical Center.

Neville reported at the scene of the incident Thursday that three officers fired their weapons, but police on Saturday said there were two officers involved in the shooting.

The officers were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in cases of officer-involved shootings.

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  1. What else is new?

  2. "Signs posted on the flightline state "Deadly Force Authorized" 33 years of working the line around the world, I've never seen/heard of anyone getting shot. Maybe we can post some of these signs around the valley?"

    I know what a "flightline" is - what does that have to do with Metro shooting an armed suspect? Two totally different scenarios.

    (And yes - deadly force WILL be used on the line IF you are dumb enough to provoke the guys holding those weapons. I was on an "unauthorized tour" of the flightline once at Nellis, in the evening when it was dark out. I was instructed under NO circumstances be visible in the truck OR stick my head out the window or else it will only take a few seconds for someone to appear out of nowhere with a gun pointed at my head. Yeah - I listened.)

  3. The story in Thursday's paper quoted the Rafael Olivas' cousin as saying, "My cousin wanted to die." He knew how to accomplish that end. I've been as harsh a critic of the LVMPD as anyone over the Erik Scott and Trevon Cole killings, even going so far as to write letters to the local FBI office, the local U. S. Attorney's office and the U. S. Attorney General's office asking for an investigation of the police department's use of lethal force policies and the implementation of that policy. In this case, it seems as if the officers involved had no other options other than to fire their weapons.

  4. It is time that officials DEMAND these trigger happy cops get some training. All cities have criminals but their cops don't seem to kill people as fast and as regular as Metro does. We just might hold some kind of record of having more cops on paid leave than on active duty for these shootings.

    Come on, people, a man with a knife against half of Metro? And their solution (as always) is to shoot to kill him?!! What ever happened to those expensive Taser Guns the taxpayers bought and why aren't they being used?

  5. You come at me with a knife, I am going to shoot you and not in the leg. I am not going to try to disarm you either.

    Don't ask to get shot and chances are you won't get shot.

    I am not a cop but I don't bring a knife to a gun fight either.

    None of us were at this shooting and don't have a clue what happened. I am not in a place to blame the police for shooting someone with a knife and I don't believe any other poster here can honestly blame then when you don't know the facts.

    Really is to bad that some feel the need to hate just to hate.