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Police: Bellagio robbery suspect had extensive criminal history

Local News

Michael Charles Cohen, 49, the Bellagio Hotel & Casino robbery suspect who got into a shootout with police Friday night had an extensive criminal history, according to Metro Assistant Chief Charles Hank.

Metro held a news briefing Monday afternoon to discuss the officer-involved shooting that could have ended tragically for an officer who was struck in the chest. That officer’s life was likely saved by his protective vest, Hank said.

The suspect, Michael Charles Cohen, 49, died from a gunshot wound to his head after he was shot by Metro Officer Joaquin Escobar, 29, in the valet area of the hotel.

According to police, Cohen has a criminal history that includes convictions for bank robbery in 1999 and 2008 as well as charges for kidnapping and numerous traffic violations. Cohen was also identified in the news conference as the man who robbed the Bellagio in Nov. 2017.

Hank said after Cohen robbed the casino cage Friday night, he ran into the valet area and attempted to get into two different vehicles. Suveillance video from the Bellagio showed Cohen couldn’t find the keys in the first car so he went to another car occupied by a woman. She had the doors locked. It was at that point that Cohen pulled out his gun and pointed it at the woman.

There were four police officers nearby in the valet area who received Cohen’s description and issued commands for him to get on the ground, Hank said. Cohen refused and fired at the officer’s hitting one in the chest. 

Police said as Cohen ran off, Officer Escobar fired one fatal round striking Cohen in the head. 

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