Las Vegas man arrested carrying fake gun, attempting suicide-by-police

LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas Metropolitan Police released a statement and police body cam video of an officer-involved shooting that led to one man’s arrest, who could have been attempting suicide-by-police.

In a media conference held Thursday, March 3, Undersheriff Kevin McMahill discussed the details of the incident which occurred Feb. 29 and showed footage from both bystanders and a police-worn body cam.

At about 6:30 p.m. a citizen exited the Dotty’s casino near Las Vegas Boulevard. She saw suspect Juan Carlos Lopez-Aguilar, 42, pacing back and forth, and behaving strangely and reported him to be mentally ill.

According to McMahill, the woman approached Lopez-Aguilar and asked if he was okay. He responded with, “F— this. I’m going to shoot some shit, and I’m going to kill something.”

Later that night, residents in the La Padania Avenue and Stivali Street neighborhood block and the Haven Street and Struzzo Avenue block reported seeing Lopez-Aguilar walking down the street screaming in Spanish carrying a firearm.

At around 7:58, Sgt. William Matchko, 34, and three other officers responded to the calls and located Lopez-Aguilar near 134 La Padania Avenue. Matchko reported seeing the handgun and began issuing commands in both English and Spanish to drop the weapon. The suspect was unresponsive to the commands.

One of the officers on scene, wearing a body camera, was told to radio other responding officers to have the area secured. During that time, the suspect then raised his gun and waved it in the direction of Matchko and another officer, the two took cover.

Lopez-Aguiler then pulled what appeared to be a bullet out of his pocket and attempted to load it into the gun and raised the gun towards another officer in the area. Matchko fired, striking Lopez-Aguilar in the right shoulder. Officers took Lopez-Aguilar into custody.

Following the incident, Lopez-Aguilar was taken to the hospital. The “Las Vegas Review-Journal” reported, “police say his intention to get shot may have been real.”

No record of mental illness was found, but Lopez-Aguilar has a minor criminal history. In February, he was arrested for obstructing a public officer and trespassing. From April 2011 to 2014, his record showed a couple of arrests and five misdemeanor arrests in California. He now faces two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of resisting with a weapon.

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