LVMPD2014ois-laughlin (1)It was a Laughlin man back in January that became the first person to die at the hands of an officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 2014. 28-year old Zachary Andrews is believed to have just robbed a nearby convenience store and was trying to get away when he was confronted by Metro Officer Sam Solorio on the night of Jan. 31 near the intersection of James A. Bilbray Parkway and Needles Highway. According to internal reports from Metro, Andrews is believed to have pulled out a handgun when Solorio shot and killed him. That officer-involved-shooting will now be the subject of a special meeting on Monday in Las Vegas. The Police Fatality Public Fact-finding Review, which is mandated by Nevada state law anytime a police-involved death occurs and the Clark County District Attorney’s Office preliminary determines that no criminal prosecution of the officer or officers involved is appropriate, will be held at the Clark County Government Center in Las Vegas. The review, which replaced the former process known as a “coroner’s inquest,” is open to the public, and it will be held in the county commission chambers, starting at 9 a.m. The review will be aired live on Clark County Television (CCTV) and streamed over the county web site at www.ClarkCountyNV.gov. Metro investigators suspect that Andrews had robbed the South Pointe Convenience store on two previous occasions when he walked into the store for a third time on the night he was shot. Recognizing who he was, the convenience store clerk quickly notified authorities and they were responding before Andrews left the area. A week after the shooting, Metro Undersheriff Jim Dixon held a news conference to explain what transpired during the incident. It was apparent that the officers at the scene believed that Andrews was determined not to go to jail. “Officer Solorio was continually being forced backwards by the armed suspect who was still moving toward him saying, quote, ‘I’m not going back. You’re going to have to kill me,'” said Dixon. Solorio was then backed up against an 11-foot block wall and could not retreat any further when Andrews continued to approach him. Solorio fired two rounds, both of which struck Andrews. Clark County Fire Department paramedics pronounced him deceased at the scene. The purpose of Monday’s review will be to serve as a fact-finding vehicle for both the public and Andrews’ family. It will be presided over by Hearing Officer Ozzie Fumo. Karen Connolly will serve as ombudsman for the review. Both are longtime criminal defense attorneys from Las Vegas. Presiding officers and ombudsmen are selected by the county manager from lists approved by the Clark County Commission. The ombudsman represents the public and the deceased’s family in this fact-finding review. Chief Deputy District Attorney Michelle Fleck will represent the District Attorney’s Office in this proceeding. At the review, the representatives from the District Attorney’s Office present witnesses and make a presentation of the essential facts surrounding the police-involved death. After the prosecutors finish their presentation, the presiding officer and ombudsman may also ask questions. The procedure for questioning witnesses is informal and intended to provide the public with relevant information about the use of force. Members of the public observing the review may submit proposed written questions to the presiding officer on forms available at the review. The presiding officer may ask the proposed questions, revise them or decline to ask them if he deems them “redundant, irrelevant or an abuse of the review process,” according to County ordinance. At the end of the review, no formal determination about the manner or cause of death is rendered. CCTV (Clark County TV) will carry the entirety of the proceedings. It is available in the Laughlin Channel 14 via CMA Access and via the Internet at www.ClarkCountyNV.gov. A video recording of the review also will be available later for play on demand on the County website.

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