In its last police-involved shooting of the year, officers of the Las Vegas police department shot and killed a man convicted of several violent felonies, thinking he was threatening them with a gun when he was in reality holding a cell phone.
Police shot Keith Childress Jr., 23, on December 31 while assisting U.S. Marshals in his apprehension. Authorities say that Childress was being sought for multiple violent felonies in Arizona, including attempted murder.
Childress was convicted on December 17 in a Maricopa County court of burglary, armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and theft.
Police were searching for Childress because he didn’t show up to the court date to witness his conviction, so a warrant was issued for his arrest.
But weeks after his conviction, Childress was shot by Vegas police who thought he was wielding a gun when they confronted him. Authorities, though, later admitted the convict had a cell phone in his hand, not a gun. His death was ruled a homicide.
The suspect had been under surveillance after fleeing federal authorities. He was tracked to a home west of downtown Las Vegas.
Officers assumed he was holding a gun and ordered the suspect to drop it. When he did not move to comply, officers opened fire…