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Washoe County DA Releases Report on November, 2018 Montage Shooting

Media Release
For Immediate Release
www.washoecounty.us/da

Contact: Michelle Bays
mbays@da.washoecounty.us
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)

Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks has released a detailed public report on an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) involving the Reno Police Department (RPD) and Lucas Stone. The shooting occurred in the Downtown Reno area after multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the Montage Apartments on a report of an active shooter incident and hostage situation. Ultimately, RPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) officers engaged Stone, who was inside his apartment actively firing his rifle while also holding a female acquaintance hostage. Stone was shot after failing to obey commands to surrender and raising his gun towards officers. He was immediately transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.      

Finding that the shooting officer was justified in having used deadly force under Nevada law, District Attorney Hicks has released a detailed 38-page report containing a review of the case and his legal analysis of the shooting incident. A copy of the report will be made available on the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office’s website at https://www.washoecounty.us/da/newsroom/reports.php

Details of the report:

On November 28, 2017 at approximately 6:40 p.m. the Reno Police Department dispatch center began receiving calls involving possible shots fired from the location of Sierra and Third Street. In all, 124 calls came into 911 and the non-emergency dispatch phone system and multiple officers from varying agencies arrived on scene within minutes to the Montage apartment building located at 255 N. Sierra Street. The exact apartment was later determined to be on the 8th floor of the Montage, #807. Initially, officers took positions on Sierra Street as well as higher positions in the surrounding casinos and hotels. Officers could see muzzle flashes from apartment #807 which was completely dark inside and no persons could be observed. Additional officers responded to the 8th floor of the Montage and could hear shots continuing to be fired from the apartment. They observed a least one round exit the apartment. Consequently, evacuations of surrounding apartments and floor were conducted.      

At approximately 6:46 p.m. a female called 911 to report that the man she had been staying with, identified as Lucas Stone, was armed with a rifle and was shooting from inside the apartment. The female reported that Stone, who was high on methamphetamine, was hallucinating and believed that people were located atop the surrounding buildings and were throwing people off the rooftops. She told dispatchers that Stone would not let her leave the apartment and she begged for police to break down the door and help her. This caller ultimately stayed on the line with 911 for approximately 44 minutes providing details to the dispatcher that Stone was pacing around and shooting off the rifle indiscriminately. At one point, she facilitated Stone speaking with hostage negotiators. However, Stone would not engage with negotiators.    

Meanwhile members of the Reno Police Department SWAT team had set up a staging area near the elevators on the 8th floor and had prepared breaching equipment. Upon hearing additional gunfire and a woman scream, the decision was made to make entry into the apartment and the door was breached by explosives. A tactical team entered the apartment and initially observed the female curled up in a fetal position near the bathroom floor. Stone was standing feet away holding a long gun. A SWAT officer observed Stone raise the barrel of the rifle towards the officers at which point he fired one round of his rifle at Stone. Stone responded by dropping the rifle and attempting to run further into the apartment. He was then tackled by other SWAT team members. Once Stone was in custody, he was provided with medical care and transported to Renown Regional Hospital where he succumbed to a single gunshot wound. A subsequent examination of the shooting scene located 47 fired cartridges consistent with having been fired from Stone’s rifle.

Consistent with the regionally-adopted Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) Protocol, the Sparks Police Department (SPD) led the investigation into the shooting of Stone. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) provided secondary investigative support, and the Washoe County Crime Laboratory provided forensic services. The investigation included interviewing witnesses, collecting physical evidence, photographing the shooting scene, forensically testing collected evidence, and interviewing the officers involved in the shooting.

All investigative and forensic reports, photographs, and recorded interviews were then submitted to the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office in February of 2019 for a determination of whether the shooting of was legally justified. No criminal charges were recommended by the investigating agencies. The District Attorney’s evaluation included reviewing thousands of pages of reports and documents which included interviews of police and civilian witnesses, photographs, diagrams, forensic testing and examination of the scene of the shooting.

Based on the available evidence and the applicable legal authorities, it is the opinion of the District Attorney that the shooting of Lucas Stone by RPD Officer Marshall Eason was justified and not a criminal act. Stone’s actions of repeatedly firing a rifle from within his apartment, holding a hostage, and refusing to put his weapon down and exit his apartment over a lengthy period of negotiations, led Officer Eason to reasonably believe that when Stone raised his rifle toward the officers they were in imminent danger of great bodily harm or death. It was absolutely necessary to use deadly force in order to save his life and/or the lives of others present. Consequently, Officer Eason had the right under Nevada law to use deadly force against Stone in defense of his own person as well as fellow officers in the discharge of a legal duty. Unless new circumstances come to light which contradict the factual foundation upon which this decision is made, this case is officially closed

 

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