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November 27, 2014

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Crime:

District Attorney: 2012 FBI shooting of armed robbery suspect was justified

Updated Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 | 12:03 p.m.

The Clark County District Attorney's Office has determined FBI agents acted reasonably and lawfully last year when they shot a suspect wanted in an armed robbery.

The Criminal Apprehension Team — a multijurisdictional task force charged with locating some of the region’s most serious criminals — attempted to apprehend Joshua Oscar Burchell, 35, on Aug. 2, 2012, outside Arizona Charlie's, in the 4500 block of Boulder Highway.

When confronted by the agents, Burchell ran to a parking lot, took out a firearm and aimed it at his pursuers. The FBI agents shot Burchell in response. Burchell died later from his injuries.

District Attorney Steven Wolfson said Burchell was armed and dangerous, and left the agents no choice but to use deadly force.

"Mr. Burchell's actions created a dangerous situation for the public and the agents," Wolfson said in a statement.

Authorities were trying to arrest Burchell in connection with an armed robbery May 31, 2011, at a local fast food store, Metro Police said. He also was a “person of interest” in a July 22, 2012, homicide at the Shelter Cove Apartments, 2657 S. Decatur Blvd. In that case, 38-year-old Esteban Meza was discovered dead with a gunshot wound to the head.

Burchell had used many names and had been identified at the time of his death as Jerome Burchell.

Wolfson has made it a practice to review cases in Clark County that involve the deadly use of force by law enforcement.

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