Las Vegas NV Jan 26 2017 Video of a Metro Police officer shooting a knife-wielding naked man outside a Jean hotel-casino shows the suspect sprinting toward the officer and being barely fazed by nonlethal bean-bag rounds from a shotgun.
Paul Carr Palmer III, a 50-year-old transient with a history of mental illness, was only stopped when the officer shot him in the chest with his handgun, Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said today.
After he was shot, Palmer sat down and threw his knife at the officer, McMahill said. Before the shooting, Palmer had stabbed himself at least a half dozen times, he said.
The encounter, which lasted less than five minutes, began in a pool area about 9:40 a.m. Saturday at the Gold Strike Hotel and Gambling Hall, about 30 miles south of Las Vegas. Security guards were alerted to a naked man with apparent stab wounds, McMahill said.
When the security guards tried to confront Palmer, they noticed he had a folding knife and backed away, McMahill said. But Palmer charged them, chasing them through a parking lot, he said.
Metro Officer Peter Bicsanszky, 42, confronted Palmer in a second parking lot, McMahill said. The video from a security camera shows Palmer sprinting 60 to 80 yards toward the officer and two Clark County firefighters in the parking lot conducting a training exercise, he said.
As Palmer neared Bicsanszky and the firefighters, he was holding the knife over his head and ignoring commands, McMahill said.
The officer fired two bean-bag rounds, but Palmer wasn’t fazed, McMahill said. Bicsanszky fired two more rounds, but Palmer “barely paused” before again sprinting toward the officer, who then opened fire with his handgun, McMahill said.
Palmer was hit with three bean-bag rounds and one of two rounds fired from Bicsanszky’s handgun, McMahill said.
McMahill said investigators haven’t ruled out that Palmer may have wanted to die at the hands of police and that he had tried to kill himself in the past by slashing his throat.
His family told investigators he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was not taking medication for it, McMahill said.
Palmer, whose last permanent residence was in Florida, was living in his vehicle, and there were no indications he had stayed at the Gold Strike or had any encounters with guests, McMahill said.
As far as his family knew, Palmer had recently been in Arizona and was trying to get to Los Angeles, McMahill said.
Bicsanszky, a 19-year Metro veteran, was put on administrative leave during the ongoing investigation, police said. The officer was not wearing a body camera, because Metro officers in the Jean area are still being trained on their use, officials said.
Las Vegas Sun News