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Fact-finding review set for suspect’s Feb. shooting death

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Updated: 11/15/2013 11:48 am
LAS VEGAS — The Police Fatality Public Fact-finding Review into the February death of Roberto Antonio Torres will be held at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at the Clark County Government Center Commission Chambers, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway.

The review will be aired live on Clark County Television and streamed over the County Internet site at

According to a report in the Las Vegas Sun, an innocent bystander was shot and critically wounded when Metro Police exchanged gunfire with a man wanted in connection with the shooting of his girlfriend.

The innocent man, who was with a woman, was only trying to sell a car that afternoon, and Roberto Torres was just a potential buyer. They met at an apartment complex in the 4000 block of Pennwood Avenue, near Clark High School.

It seemed like a normal transaction. What they might not have known, however, was that Torres was wanted for shooting his girlfriend in the face earlier that week.

“He was simply there to sell a vehicle to the suspect, who had responded to an advertisement,” Metro Sheriff Doug Gillespie said.

Two officers confronted Torres as he was meeting with the two bystanders. Torres pulled out a handgun and fired at the officers.

Gillespie said the officers — Joseph Parra, 34, and Scott Thomas, 50 — had no other choice but to defend themselves. Parra and Thomas responded by firing seven shots, Gillespie said. What started as a simple car sale had turned into a deadly shootout with the two bystanders in the middle of it all.

Torres, 33, was shot several times and killed. The innocent man was struck in the left shoulder and remains hospitalized. Gillespie said the investigation indicated that the bystander was likely struck by an officer’s bullet.

The woman suffered a minor gunshot wound and was treated at the scene, police said. It was unclear if she was struck by police gunfire.

“It was not the officer’s intention to harm an innocent bystander, but this incident does underscore the dynamics that officers see on the streets,” Gillespie said. “At times our officers run into criminals that are violent, they are well armed and are willing to engage police in combat situations.”

The review of this incident will be presided over by Hearing Officer Carlos Blumberg.

Conrad Claus, a criminal defense attorney, will serve as ombudsman for the review.

Presiding officers and ombudsmen are selected by the county manager from lists approved by the County Commission. The ombudsman represents the public and the deceased’s family in this fact-finding review.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Brad Turner will represent the District Attorney’s Office in this proceeding.

— From news release



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