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December 20, 2014

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Suspect shot at Excalibur was trying to steal off-duty cop’s car, police say

Updated Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 | 7:05 p.m.

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Saul Villegas

A 21-year Metro Police veteran has been identified as the off-duty officer who shot and wounded a man earlier this week outside the Excalibur.

Metro today said Bernard Blaskett, 54, opened fire on Saul Villegas, 27, who allegedly climbed into the officer’s personal vehicle Sunday night in a loading zone outside the Strip venue. Villegas, who is from Bellflower, Calif., was released from a local hospital and booked into Clark County Detention Center on one count of attempted grand larceny auto.

According to authorities, Plaskett was parked at the hotel's loading zone to drop off packages for family and friends when the incident occurred. He repeatedly told Villegas to get out of the vehicle and identified himself as a police officer. Villegas still did not leave the car.

After the man appeared to lower his hands out of view, Plaskett drew his gun and shot the man in the wrist, Metro said.

Villegas then ran from the car, but was caught by security guards at the front of the hotel.

Plaskett has been placed on routine paid administrative leave, pending a review of the event.

The incident was the 13th Metro officer-involved shooting of the year.

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