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November 28, 2014

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BLM says both of its responding officers fired weapons in fatal encounter with pedestrian

D’Andre Berghardt Jr.

D’Andre Berghardt Jr.

Both responding Bureau of Land Management officers fired their weapons in the fatal shooting of a pedestrian last week near Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, the agency said in a 434-word statement today.

D’Andre Berghardt Jr., 20, Los Angeles, was shot and killed Friday as he tried to grab a rifle from the car of a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper who had responded to reports of a pedestrian harassing bicyclists on State Route 159 near the Red Rock Canyon Visitors Center.

The Highway Patrol on Wednesday identified the trooper as five-year NHP veteran Lucas Schwarzrock. The patrol said Schwarzrock did not fire his weapon.

In today’s statement, the BLM did not identify its two officers but said Berghardt actively resisted commands throughout the encounter.

“Despite continued attempts to gain compliance through verbal commands and utilizing available secondary measures — including multiple Taser deployments, pepper spray and a baton — the officers were unable to gain compliance,” the statement read. “During this time, Mr. Berghardt attempted to gain entry into two occupied privately owned vehicles, which the officers physically tried to prevent for the safety of the public.

“A Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper also arrived on the scene and the officers attempted to take Mr. Berghardt into custody after the NHP Trooper deployed his Taser. Mr. Berghardt threatened to shoot the officers and entered the running NHP cruiser where he reached for the trooper’s duty rifle contained in a firearms safety rack. Fearing for their own safety and the safety of the numerous citizens in the immediate vicinity, the two BLM officers engaged Mr. Berghardt with gunfire. Medical personnel were summoned and Mr. Berghardt was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

In its statement, the BLM said both of its officers involved in the shooting had “significant law enforcement experience and training.” One officer has been in law enforcement for 17 years; the other has more than nine years of federal law enforcement experience. The BLM officers and Schwarzrock have been placed on administrative leave.

Metro Police and the BLM continue their investigation into the events that led to the shooting.

Metro, in a news release today, asked the public for assistance with information regarding Berghardt, specifically how he was transported to the State Route 159 Red Rock Loop area. Anyone who had contact with the Berghardt immediately preceding the shooting is asked to call the Metro Homicide Section at 828-3521 or contact Crime Stoppers, at 702-385-5555.

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