On November 19, 2022, in North Las Vegas, a woman and a friend were headed to a “Friendsgiving.” Having arrived early, the two decided to park their car at a nearby location and pass some time before proceeding to the location. The driver of the car noticed a vehicle approaching at a high rate of speed, which pulled directly in front of her car, effectively preventing her from leaving.
Two men with guns exited the vehicle, pointed their guns at the women, and told them to get out of the vehicle. One of the men opened the driver’s side door and pulled her out of the vehicle by her shirt. He then got into the car, sat in the driver’s seat, and attempted to drive off in the car. The man was unable to get the car into gear. As this was happening, she told her friend to run.
With the man still in the driver’s seat, struggling to get the car into gear, the woman had noticed that he had his gun laid in his lap, apparently needing both hands to make the car go. By this time, the second suspect had taken his place on the passenger side seat and told the man on the driver’s side to “just go.”
The woman who had been driving grabbed for the gun, which was free on the first suspect’s lap, and ran away with it. The man gave chase, quickly caught up, and grabbed her from behind. Unable to escape the man’s grasp, she turned and shot him. According to her statement, she did not know if she had fired the gun once or twice.
The police report stated that the second suspect began firing at her, but she was able to conceal herself beside a nearby house. The woman stated that the gun had jammed, “so she fixed it.” Upon the arrival of the police, she came out of hiding and was handcuffed but was told that she was not under arrest.
Police reported finding a male suspect wearing a ski mask with a fatal head wound in the street.
On December 2, 2022, a known associate of the deceased male was arrested whose vehicle was a vehicle of interest in this crime, and in similar crimes, with the same M.O. This man was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, second-degree kidnapping, attempted grand larceny of a vehicle, attempted robbery with a deadly weapon, and burglary with the use of a deadly weapon.
This woman was certainly very brave to disarm a criminal and eliminate the threat with the criminal’s own weapon. I think the fact that she took his weapon and attempted to flee with it while exposing her to greater risk will certainly work in her favor should she have to go before a jury. The use of deadly force is often not authorized solely for the defense of property. Running away with the weapon, she was not under threat until the suspect pursued and attempted to restrain her. It could be said that she made every attempt to secure her and her friend’s safety without killing the criminal.
It is not known if she had a weapon of her own, but if she did, it could be assumed that it may have been in the car, in a purse or glove box, perhaps. It is also possible that she had some training with a firearm, considering that she was able to clear a malfunction AND eliminate a threat with just one or two shots.