March 31, 2016 was a sad day for the Metro Police dog, Nicky, who was killed during an officer shootout. Just a few weeks ago, this K-9 had been stabbed several times during a law enforcement response to a disturbance call.
The latest incident started when police were called to the scene where a male suspect had been accused of killing two of his mother’s neighbors. During the incident that led to a shootout with officers, the K9 was accidentally shot to death by one of the officers and the suspect was left paralyzed. The deadly shooting transpired in the garage of a home located on 9800 block of Fast Elk Street.
The suspect, James Craig Simpson, 31 was screaming, shouting incoherently and acting wild, said Police officer Kevin McMahill. Just before the shooting, James Simpson had killed Brandon Hughes, 31 and Felecia Wimberly Hughes 47. Both the victims had come to the assistance of his mother to try and diffuse a verbal confrontation between mother and son.
The police arrived soon and it appeared that initially Simpson would cooperate as he dropped his weapon. However, he quickly picked it up and engaged in a shootout with the police. The four law enforcement officers fired more than 20 rounds at Simpson who was hit multiple times. No officers were injured but the dog was killed instantly. Nicky was let lose to help prevent Simpson from firing the gun at the police and did bite and hold on to the suspect but during the ensuing scuffle, was accidently shot by one of the police officers. The incident was very labile, tense and the outcome was very unfortunate.
Simpson was then taken to University Medical Center where he remains paralyzed and in critical condition. He faces multiple counts of murder, kidnapping, attempted murder, and discharging a gun. He is also likely to face more charges once the investigations are complete. This latest shooting involving a police officer was the fourth such incident in Las Vegas this year.
Police did applaud the actions of the 2 slain neighbors who went to the aid of the suspect’s mother. They also mentioned that Nicky the K9 was an excellent dog who loved his work.
Simpson “clearly was not complying with the officers to step away (from the gun) and the K-9 would’ve been an opportunity to take him into custody without allowing him to get custody of that weapon again. Clearly it didn’t work out that way, but that was the plan,” explains Metropolitan Police Department Undersheriff Kevin McMahill.