ELKO — An Elko police officer shot and killed a 24-year-old man during a domestic dispute — the first officer-involved shooting in the rural northeast Nevada town in more than 15 years. The man is Tabanico Pirtle, 24, of Elko.
The man and a woman were fighting over a rifle when police responded to a report of domestic violence at a home at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Elko Police Chief Ben Reed said.
The man, who hasn’t been identified, got control of the gun and then ignored police commands to drop the weapon. That’s when the officer fired several shots at the man, hitting him in the arm and lower extremities, Reed told the Elko Daily Free Press.
The man died several hours later at Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital. The woman was not seriously injured.
The Nevada Department of Public Safety and Washoe County Crime Lab were investigating the case.
“It’s going to take some time to sort all this out,” Police Lt. Rich Genseal told the newspaper.
The officer, a three-year veteran of the Elko police whose name has not been released, is on paid administrative leave pending conclusion of the investigation, Reed said.
Reed said the last officer-involved shooting in Elko was in 1998, when former Police Chief Mike Smith shot and killed an Indiana man who was holding a 16-year-old girl hostage on a Greyhound bus.
Reed said several officers responded to the incident within three minutes of a 911 call, which he said they believe came from a neighbor, not from inside the home.