We've written a lot lately about a phenomenon known as suicide by cop — scenarios in which suicidal individuals attempt to goad police into killing them.
Now, Las Vegas police say Aurora's Patrick Joel Stoltz flew to a hotel in that city with the intention of doing just that.
And while he survived being shot by cops, a spokesman for the department is using the incident as an example.
He sees Stoltz's act as part of a growing national trend that needs to stop.
The location of the shooting was the Hotel Shalimar, at 1401 South Las Vegas Boulevard.
According to LVPD Undersheriff Kevin McMahill, as cited by Fox5 Las Vegas, Stoltz checked into the hotel on Friday, July 17.
During his stay, Stoltz allegedly asked front desk personnel for paper, stamps and an envelope and later returned with a sealed letter he asked an employee to mail. McMahill, speaking at a press conference, said the missive revealed that Stoltz "wanted to commit suicide, but did not have the courage to kill himself," the station reports.
Then, early on Saturday, July 18, Stoltz allegedly called the Shalimar's front desk to say a shooting had taken place in the parking lot — and a staffer who saw Stoltz sitting there with a gun quickly contacted police.
When officers arrived, they saw the door to a nearby room open, and when they went inside, they spotted Stoltz emerging from a bathroom wielding a gun, which he quickly pointed at he officers, one of whom responded with five blasts from a shotgun.
However, it was another cop who actually fired the shot that took down Stoltz, striking him in the back of the head.
Despite his wishes, Stoltz survived and has now been booked on three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, among other charges.
Undersheriff McMahill put these revelations in the context of suicide-by-cop attempts in general.
"Like this suspect, men and sometimes women who don't want to take their own lives oftentimes place our officers in a horrible position of having to take a life at the risk of losing their own," he said. "I can tell you that whoever the officer is, they have to carry a heavy burden with them forever."
Look below to see two videos: the first a report about the shooting and its aftermath from Vegas's KTNV-TV, the second raw footage of McMahill's press conference from Fox5. Note that the sound is glitchy in the second clip but starts working consistently shortly after the one-minute mark.Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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