Cops in Las Vegas released a video showing a police officer shooting a man who pulled a gun out of a bush where it had apparently been hidden earlier.
After being shot by police, 21-year-old Kenneth Busse Jr. succumbed to two bullet wounds in his chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the time paramedics arrived.
The Las Vegas Police Department later released a statement saying they believed Busse’s death was intended to be a “suicide by cop.”
According to local ABC affiliate KTNV, police responded to a three-vehicle crash at around 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, October 10. When officers arrived on the scene they sought to question the driver of each vehicle. Busse was suspected of being drunk and asked to complete a field sobriety test. He refused.
After that refusal, Busse allegedly ran away from the officers–who attempted to restrain him–and took a black gun out of a small bush nearby. Police say they believe that Busse had hidden the gun in the bush sometime before their officers arrived.
According to police, Busse then chambered a round, raised the gun and pointed it at officers who were later identified as 52-year-old Kenneth Pilette and 43-year-old Chad Betts.
Betts cautioned Busse to drop his gun. Busse refused.
The officers and Busse then briefly exchanged gunfire–with Pilette and Betts squeezing off six rounds between one other. Neither officer was injured and several of the shots missed their mark.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly released a statement. He said:
While we may not know his full intention, this appears to be suicide by cop. While we’re glad no one else was injured, our goal as law enforcement is never to take the type of action we had to take in this situation.
According to Kelly, an investigation revealed that Busse had mad suicidal statements at some point in the past and on the day of his death. Kelly also reminded Las Vegas community members that suicide prevention resources are available.
“Please, if a loved one is experiencing these issues, please reach out for help,” Kelly noted.
[image via screengrab/KTNV]