More Revealed About Teen Suspect Shot by Las Vegas Police

Metro's Own Rules on the Use of Deadly Force

Metro is investigating the connection between a body found in the desert over the weekend and the deadly officer involved shooting that claimed the life of a teenager.

Kyle Staheli's bullet-ridden, burned body was discovered in the desert over the weekend. The 18-year-old did have a connection with Swuave Lopez, who was shot and killed by police. Lopez was in handcuffs and shot in the back after he escaped from a police car and ran.

On Saturday, two Metro detectives arrested 17-year-old Lopez and James Carter Junior in connection with the shooting death of Staheli.

Las Vegas Metro Police won't say why detectives felt they had to shoot a handcuffed 17-year-old. Deputy Chief Greg McCurdy says Lopez was left in the front seat of a detective's car. McCurdy adds that Lopez was able to get his handcuffed hands in front of his body, open the car door and run.

"Once the suspect was in the car, the detective stepped to the back of his trunk to retrieve something for another detective, McCurdy explained. He adds the detective looked up to see Lopez running away and that's when Metro fired at him.

Lopez's grandmother talked with Eyewitness News over the phone. "He's supposed to be a suspect in a murder and they put him in a police car, but nobody watches him? Did they want him to run so they could kill him?"

She admits that Lopez got into trouble and was sent to a juvenile facility in Elko and then to Summit View Junior High School, which is a high school for troubled teens.

There are at least two connections between the three teens in this investigation. All the teens attended Eldorado High School at one point. All of them also spent time at a store called @net. It's a computer store where teens play video games, use the Internet, and do homework. The store is next to the apartments where police shot and killed Lopez.

Police say Lopez had a weapon when they arrested him for murder. "One of the subjects who was taken into custody was found to have a .45 caliber handgun in his pocket," McCurdy said.

The other teen arrested for murder, James Carter Jr., recently began spending time with Lopez. Eldorado High School friends say Carter was a great person but started to change because of his relationship with Lopez. The two also interacted with Staheli.

In the last year, Metro has had 14 police shootings. Twelve were ruled justified, 2 were ruled excusable, none were considered criminal.

A Coroner's Inquest is set for June 9 in this case. The two officers who shot Lopez in the back and killed him are on paid administrative leave.

Metro Detective Shane Womack serves in the violent crime unit and he's been on the force for six years. Metro Detective Ken Hardy is in the Homicide Unit and he's been on the force for 20 years. For both, this is their first fatal shooting.

Click here to email reporter Edward Lawrence


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