A man was shot and killed by a federal ranger outside of Las Vegas when a routine incident escalated to deadly proportions. Two bystanders caught the whole thing on video.
D’Andre Berghardt Jr., 20, had reportedly been calling out to cyclists near the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area 20 miles from downtown Las Vegas last Friday, the Review-Journal reports. Two cyclists reported him to the Red Rock visitors’ center around noon.
A bystander begins filming with his cell phone as two rangers hold him at gunpoint. Berghardt appears to comply with their orders, and does not appear to be carrying a weapon.
After several minutes, a ranger sprays Berghardt with pepper spray. The officers still do not arrest him.
“It’s really interesting that they just haven’t kind of grabbed him. I guess they really want him to be compliant before they (arrest him),” the man filming can be heard saying.
“Yeah, it doesn’t look like he’s being very erratic. They should have just grabbed him,” says the other man.
Berghardt gets into a scuffle with the ranger. A Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper arrives on the scene, and three officers chase Berghardt, who has run behind a truck.
The man filming turns off his camera, but then turns it on, telling the Review Journal that they felt “the intensity had increased.”
“Why don’t they just cuff him and be done with it?” one of the men in the video asks. “They keep letting him get up and run away.”
The trooper backs away and then approached Berghardt, pointing a gun or a taser at Berghardt, who gets inside the SUV as the trooper slams the door. The rangers come to the driver’s side of the car and one fires eight or nine shots into the car.
Then come the shocked responses from the men behind the cell phone camera.
“These cops are not taking the prerogative to …”
“Dude, they just shot him. They just killed the dude. Holy s***. They just killed him.”
According to the Review-Journal, the officers said that Berghardt had reached for the trooper’s AR-15, which was locked in the car’s gun rack.
Retired Metro Officer Randy Sutton told FOX5 that the video wasn’t the whole story and that the officers’ actions shouldn’t be judged just yet.
"If he has access to a firearm, or could get into the vehicles and take off with that firearm, then he has to be stopped," Sutton said.
Trooper Loy Hixson said Friday the officers “felt their lives were in danger.”