LAS VEGAS — Tania Torres-Espinoza, 50, was shot by a Metro Police officer on March 21 when the officer responded to a domestic violence call.
The situation began when Torres-Espinoza and her husband argued inside their apartment located on East Tropicana Ave. The argument escalated and Torres-Espinoza’s husband called police because he was being threatened with knives.
He ran out of the apartment and his wife followed carrying two kitchen knives.
The officer that responded to the scene. Esmeralda Boveda, a sergeant with the department, shot Torres-Espinoza at least twice.
After news of the incident became public many questioned if it was necessary to shoot at a suspect armed with a knife or if there was a better way to disarm a suspect. Since Metro police have a track record for using excessive, and oftentimes deadly, force it is a valid concern.
Undersheriff Jim Dixon addressed the issue at a press conference and said that Boveda issued commands in both English and Spanish for the suspect to drop the knife but Torres-Espinoza did not obey police commands. The suspect continued to walk toward Boveda and was shot at a distance of approximately five feet away.
Is there is a better way to disarm a suspect? Police officers have a tough job to do and have to be able to make quick decisions, but do they have to just shoot, or can they be more precise as to where the shots will land?
Can an officer react that quickly with precision?
Torres-Espinoza suffered gunshots to the upper body and remains hospitalized.
A shot to the leg, for example, would most likely disable the suspect to a point where he or she could be subdued and yet not cause such extensive injuries?
Boveda is on routine paid administrative leave while the shooting is reviewed.
Torres-Mendoza has been charged with with assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a protected person, in the case a police officer, with a deadly weapon, resisting a officer with a deadly weapon that is not a firearm