Police have reported it appears on neighbor was attempting to save a woman who was being beaten by her boyfriend during a domestic dispute; to which he ended up killing the boyfriend by shooting him.
The Clark County District Attorney will decide if said neighbor will face charges.
The man who shot the boyfriend has not been arrested and is cooperating with investigators, according to Metro Police detectives.
Police were called to the apartment on Mission Laguna Lane around 10 p.m. Thursday night by a security guard who reported the shooting.
Investigators believe the dead man had been abusing his girlfriend for hours before the shooting. They said the victim had obvious signs of abuse and was bleeding from her face. They also believe the man had kicked down a door inside the couple’s apartment earlier Thursday.
Before the shooting, police believe the woman ran from her apartment and found a neighbor she knew in the parking lot. The woman’s long-time boyfriend apparently chased her and got into an argument with the neighbor.
“There was a verbal argument and there was some yelling,” said Metro homicide investigator, Lt. Dan McGrath. “What I was told by the security guard was he told him to back up. He told him to get back or he would get shot.”
According to the police, the neighbor fired one shot during that confrontation and ended up killing the boyfriend, who has a history of domestic violence involving his girlfriend.
Investigators are not immediately releasing the names of anyone involved in this incident, but have disclosed the boyfriend was an African-American man in his 50’s.
Detectives claim this whole situation could have been prevented.
“If you hear your neighbors yelling and screaming and fighting, please call the police,” said McGrath. “That’s our job. We’ll come out… You may end up saving somebody from getting seriously injured or killed.”
GirlsJustWannaHaveGuns asked legal expert A.J. Yolofsky about the case and here is what he had to say:
There are two interesting things happening from a legal perspective.
1) The neighbor didn’t stop the boyfriend in the act of battering the girlfriend. The article says that the woman found the neighbor in the apartment building’s parking lot. It seems that the boyfriend followed the girlfriend into the parking lot, then got into an argument with the neighbor.
These facts suggest that the boyfriend was shot because he got into an argument with the neighbor, not because the neighbor stopped a crime from occurring (beating the girlfriend.) The neighbor’s criminal liability is different in this situation because it could be argued that there was no self-defense necessary. Nevada does allow for the use of force to defend a third person, which could lead to the neighbor not being charged with an offense.
Who said what to whom and when will be extremely important. If the neighbor started a “fight” with the boyfriend (think shouting or being overly macho instead of attempting to calm the situation,) then the neighbor may be criminally liable.
2) The officer’s quote at the end of the article is noteworthy because our society has become too ignorant about coming to the aid of our fellows. Many remember the story of Kitty Genovese who was raped multiple times and murdered in New York over the course of several hours. No one came to her aid or called the police during her ordeal. Too often, people ignore the horrors next door because “they don’t want to get involved.”
Could the girlfriend have been spared her trials that day if a neighbor or passer-by simply called 911? Was the neighbor who ended the confrontation the first or second person from whom the girlfriend sought help? Importantly, there is almost never any legal liability for a person who contacts law enforcement to report some type of suspicious activity.
What could have been done to avoid the horror that occurred in San Bernardino if neighbors had contacted the police because of the numerous deliveries and the individuals who kept coming around that house?