A police officer and a protester were shot in separate instances at the Las Vegas protests near the strip Monday night.
“This is a sad night for the LVMPD family and a tragic night for our community,” said Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo. “With these protests, which are leading to riots, one tragedy is only leading to another.”
U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, said she was monitoring the situation.
“I’m currently monitoring the tragic shooting of a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer overnight. We don’t have all of the details yet, but one thing is clear: this violence is unacceptable.”
Here’s what we know so far:
Police officer shot is now on life support
A Las Vegas Metro officer is in critical condition after a man who was believed to be a protester shot him Monday night, Lombardo, who heads the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, said early Tuesday.
In a 3:30 a.m. press conference, Lombardo said the shooting was a sad night for the community.
“With these protests, which are leading to riots, one tragedy is only leading to another,” Lombardo said.
The officer is currently on life support at University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Lombardo said the wounded police officer was shot after bottles and rocks were thrown at officers trying to disperse a crowd outside the Circus Circus hotel-casino. “Officers were attempting to get some of the protesters in custody when a shot rang out, our officer went down,” Lombardo said.
The sheriff could not confirm that the man shot by officers was involved in the protest but said the location of the shooting “would lead one to believe that he was.”
“He was obviously an open-carry individual,” the sheriff said.
Neither the officer nor the alleged shooter was immediately identified, though the suspect has been identified by officials.
Man wearing body armor killed Monday night
The second shooting on Monday night involved an armed man wearing body armor.
Lombardo said police and federal agents guarding a federal building in downtown Las Vegas shot the man when he reached for his firearm at 11:22 p.m.
Lombardo said the man was an “open-carry individual” and was seen walking among protesters as the demonstration was dying down before the shooting.
“What has occurred is utterly unacceptable,” Lombardo said before ending the brief press conference.
Watch the press conference: Las Vegas Sheriff Joe Lombardo morning briefing
“All night long, everybody worked hard to keep everybody safe,” said U.S. Marshal Gary Schofield, head of the local federal security agency involved with police in the shooting in front of the courthouse. “Unfortunately, criminals hijacked the event.”
Schofield said a man wearing a black tactical vest and armed with a rifle was hit with a beanbag round before he was shot. Police said in a statement the man “reached for a firearm and officers engaged him.”
Nevada does not prohibit open carrying of firearms.
Neither the man nor the officers and marshals involved in the shooting was immediately identified.
Shootings were 2 miles apart
The shootings appeared unrelated and occurred at about the same time, less than three miles (4.8 kilometers) apart, during a fifth night of protests over the death of George Floyd — a black man who died in police custody May 25 in Minneapolis.
Police said the shooting of a protester took place on the 300 block of South Las Vegas Boulevard.
The officer shot was in the 2800 Block of South Las Vegas Boulevard near the courthouse.
The shootings followed weekend demonstrations that ended in violence and more than 330 arrests over the weekend. There were no immediate reports of injuries to demonstrators in those confrontations, but Las Vegas police said at least 25 officers were injured.
Local officials pleaded multiple times in recent days for events to remain peaceful, promising to protect the safety of people lawfully exercising free speech. They have resisted calls to impose a curfew similar to one in Reno.
The Associated Press contributed.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.
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