Video: Las Vegas police shoot suspect 19 times, apply tourniquets to stop bleeding
Camera images show blood spurting from William Alfredo Chafoya's wounds as officers race to apply tourniquets
By Ricardo Torres-Cortez
Las Vegas Sun
LAS VEGAS — In the aftermath of a gunfight between Metro Police and a man fleeing from them on Monday, in which 31 rounds were fired in quick succession, the suspect lay on the ground, bleeding profusely and pleading with officers: “Sir, I’m dying … oh my God … sir, please.”
William Alfredo Chafoya, who police say fired five of the shots, was struck 19 times, and investigators were working to determine how many were direct hits or ricochet impacts, said Clark County Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo, who conducted a briefing and showed graphic crime-scene images.
Chafoya, 37, survived the shooting, as did a second suspect, Ashley Olivetti, 31, who was struck once in the wrist by police gunfire, Fasulo said. Neither officer was injured.
On Thursday, the suspects remained in police custody and in stable condition at University Medical Center. They were booked in absentia at the Clark County Detention Center on various weapons-related charges.
Police were dispatched about 5:05 p.m. to a residence on Welsh Circle in the northwest valley to conduct surveillance on a maroon Honda linked to a Sunday drive-by shooting, in which a bicyclist was shot in the calf, Fasulo said.
Sometime later, Chafoya, who matched the shooter’s description, and Olivetti entered the stolen car and officers tried to pull them over, but Chafoya ignored the lights and sirens and kept driving, Fasulo said.
The chase, which was approved by Metro leadership and tracked from a police helicopter, took the suspects from the west to the east valley, across area commands and jurisdictions, into North Las Vegas on Goldfield Street, where Olivetti lived, Fasulo said.
It's now 7:19 p.m. and the suspects get out, the car rolls forward and only stops when it crashes into a parked car. The man and woman run toward the house, but Officers Tyler Hebb, a 35-year-old field trainer, and 22-year-old Brandon Foster, who was being trained, trail closely behind.
Chafoya fires a round with his stolen gun into the air then a continuous volley of pops breaks out, and "get on the ground!" commands go ignored until they fall wounded.
Fasulo said Chafoya fired four rounds in the officers' direction, two of which struck a house. Olivetti was wounded when she ran into the gun battle, and a resident in the front yard where the shootout took place was uninjured, he added.
Quickly after, officers tend to the injured suspects. Chafoya wails in pain, "Sir, I'm dying. Sir, I'm dying!" A woman's screams can be heard in the background.
Camera images show blood spurting from Chafoya's wounds as officers race to apply tourniquets, not taking the time to protect their hands with rubber gloves.
“I will tell you that that personal decision by that officer to not utilize gloves is stellar," Fasulo said. "The fact that he was willing to jeopardize his own safety with blood-borne pathogens to save that man’s life by putting a tourniquet on his leg was a very good decision that day.”
About this being the 13th Metro officer-involved shooting this year when there were only six during the same time last year, Fasulo speaks about suspects, such as Chafoya, who are armed and “willing to use violence on our officers."
"This is a concern for the LVMPD and the community," Fasulo said.
The number may reflect the "underlying culture" in criminal elements in which suspects think they can get away with crime in this community, he adds.
“When it comes to violent crime in this community, we’re not fooling around," Fasulo said in a message to armed and dangerous suspects. "Our officers are entrusted and paid to do relentless follow-ups on people who prey upon innocent people or on officers. And if you engage in that behavior we will hunt you down and put you in jail. So, you better think twice the next time you think about using some violence toward another innocent person, or against one of our officers.”
Chafoya, who has an extensive criminal record in Nevada and California dating back to 2004, was booked on two counts of assault on a protected person and one count each of possession of a gun with an altered or removed serial number, and disobeying peace officers and endangering other persons or property, jail logs show.
In connection to Sunday's shooting, he's facing one count each of attempted murder, battery with a deadly weapon, and discharging a gun from a vehicle, logs show.
Olivetti, who also has a criminal history in California, was booked on two counts of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and one count each of possessing a weapon with a removed serial number and possession of stolen property.