VIDEO: Hitchhiker Shot And Killed By Police [GRAPHIC CONTENT]
February 18, 2014 3:22pm PST
Two men traveling along state Route 159 near Calico Basin, about 20 miles from downtown Las Vegas witnessed and recorded an incident with police where a lone man walking down the road ended up getting killed after a brief altercation.
The video of the incident was take from one of the man’s cellphones and released to the Las Vegas Review Journal. It shows 20 year old D’Andre Berghardt Jr getting stopped by Bureau of Land Management rangers, only to be killed after they failed to subdue him.
It starts with Berghardt being held at gunpoint by the two rangers for a few minutes while onlookers in cars and on bicycles observe. You can’t hear what they’re saying to each other but the young man didn’t appear to be threatening them or showing malicious intent even though he remained on his feet.
After several minutes of holding him at gunpoint, one of the rangers sprayed Berghardt with pepper spray in the face which prompted him to remove his shirt and start rubbing where the spray contacted him.
While this is occurring you can hear the men in the car discussing what they were seeing. One of them said to the other “Yeah, it doesn’t look like he’s being very erratic. They should have just grabbed him,” after his friend had commented he thought maybe the ranger had wanted Berghardt to calm down prior to arresting him.
After being sprayed Berghardt turned towards the rangers then began walking toward a row of cars that had stopped. Once he gets closer to the vehicles one of the rangers appeared to kick him then attempt to detain him, to which Berghardt threw a punch threw a punch in return and was able to shake him off.
At this point and officer from the Nevada Highway Patrol arrived on the scene right as Berghardt dove behind a truck to hide with all three officers giving chase. The men in the car felt that the altercation was over since an NHP officer arrived and they believed the situation would begin to settle down.
The man filming the incident, Robbie(who asked to only be identified by his first name) explained that “At first we thought, with the NHP showing up, that it would end pretty shortly,”regarding why he turned the camera off. “Then we felt the intensity had increased and that’s why we turned the video back on.”
When Robbie resumed filming Berghardt appeared to be subdued with both rangers on top of him and the NHP officer standing off to the side. However Berghardt was able to free himself from their grasp and pushed away the trooper, making a beeline for the trooper’s vehicle.
Berghardt the stomped towards the trooper as the trooper had either his taser or sidearm pointed at him, causing the trooper to back away and giving Berghardt the opportunity to get inside the NHP SUV. At this point there’s a quick jolt of the camera and once it comes back into focus you see the ranger wearing dark pants open fire into the vehicle, letting off 8-9 rounds at Berghardt.
The Review Journal is reporting that the officers claim that Berghardt was going for the AR-15 rifle that was in the SUV and that’s why they fired on him however authorities have not released an official statement on the incident.
Berghardt died on the scene from his injuries.
The Las Vegas Police Department in conjunction with the Nevada Highway Patrol and the FBI will be investigating the incident to determine whether or not it was properly handled.
The man who recorded the video said that he didn’t feel that the officers did enough to diffuse the situation when it’s their job to make sure things don’t get out of hand in such a manner;
“I think one of the rules of law enforcement is to stop a situation from escalating,” he said. “It felt, to me, like they were allowing the situation to continue, and not ending it by detaining this pedestrian. It seemed like they had multiple opportunities to do that.
“I came away from this with a disturbed feeling that a guy is dead that shouldn’t be.”
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