For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks has released a public report detailing his findings on an officer involved shooting incident that took place on November 22, 2015. The shooting involved two Reno Police Department (RPD) patrol officers and Mathew Grows, who had shot and seriously wounded two neighbors just prior to his confrontation with police. Determining that the shooting officers were justified in their actions, DA Hicks has released a 36 page public report outlining the incident and his analysis. A copy of the report can be accessed on the DA Office’s website at https://www.washoecounty.us/da/newsroom/reports.php
The report concluded that on the afternoon of November 22, 2015, two Reno Police Department (RPD) patrol officers were hailed at the 7-11 on East Grove Street where store personnel and patrons were attempting to assist a male victim with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. The man was able to give the officers the location of the shooting and a description of the shooter. At the same time, the officers heard multiple gunshots and a woman screaming. Based on the information at hand, both officers believed they were responding to an active shooter who had already shot at least one person. The RPD officers, who were in full police uniforms, immediately began running toward the gunshots and screaming. This led them to the driveway of a triplex located at 220 East Grove. Once on scene, the officers encountered Grows heading south down the driveway with a pistol in his hand. Grows matched the description given to them of the shooter and was seen heading toward three unarmed civilians.
The officers responded by announcing their presence and placing Grows at gunpoint while ordering him to drop the weapon. Grows glanced at the offices, but ignored their commands. Instead, he continued walking toward the civilians and raised his gun in their direction. Both RPD officers perceived the deadly threat Grows posed to the civilians and fired their duty weapons, hitting Grows with several rounds. Grows went down to the ground and dropped the gun. Once down, and with his weapon secured, Grows was treated for his wounds. He was transported to Renown, but died a short time after arrival.
In accordance with the regionally adopted Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) Protocol, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) responded to lead the investigation, with secondary assistance provided by the Sparks Police Department (SPD). The investigation determined that Grows had been present with several family members and neighbors at his Grove Street triplex the day of the shooting. At approximately 3:00 p.m., a disagreement took place between Grows, the property owner and a female co-tenant. Grows left for his apartment and returned a short time later armed with a loaded .45 caliber pistol and four loaded magazines. Grows immediately began shooting without warning, attacking several of his neighbors who were working outside in the yard. In the attack, Grows fired off numerous rounds at multiple people, striking two victims. None of the victims were armed or expected the violent attack. The neighbor who had fled to the nearby 7-11 seeking help was shot in the abdomen. A second victim collapsed in the yard after being shot in his right side. Both were seriously wounded, but survived.
During the attack, detectives determined that Grows fired several rounds into one of the triplex units in an attempt to break into the residence where a female neighbor’s then 25 year old daughter and 2 year old granddaughter were hiding. Grows also set fire to a garage on the property, which quickly spread to the triplex and adjacent buildings.
The D.A.’s Office evaluation included reviewing over 750 pages of reports, analyzing hours of interviews and reviewing all related documents and evidence. Based on that review and the applicable legal authorities, it is the opinion of the DA that the shooting of Matthew Grows was justified.
In the report, DA Hicks notes that when the officers were hailed to the 7-11 on East Grove Street, they were met with a victim who had a gunshot wound who said he had just been shot and that the shooter was still in the area. At the same time, the officers heard multiple gunshots and a woman screaming from the direction indicated by the victim. Both officers understandably believed they were responding to an active shooter situation involving a dangerous assailant who had already shot at least one victim.
The officers then encounter an armed Grows, who ignored their commands to drop the gun, raising his gun in the direction of three obviously terrified and unarmed civilians. DA Hicks notes, “It was absolutely necessary for them to use deadly force. Both officers had the right under Nevada law to use deadly force against Grows both in defense of others and in the discharge of a legal duty.”