LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released the body camera video of an officer involved in a fatal shooting a man who charged toward police with a samurai sword.
Officer Vincent Segura, 27, and his partner responded to the Sandhill Apartments complex around 11 a.m. May 5 after reports that a man, identified as Justin Charland, 40, was yelling at neighbors and talking to himself, Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman said in video briefing Friday.
Charland had a history of mental health issues as well as previous encounters with police, who provided him with assistance relating to mental health in the past, Zimmerman said.
The body camera video released during the briefing showed Charland brandishing the sword while standing atop an outdoor staircase and yelling. Segura asks to speak with Charland and get him help, Fox News reported.
“Why are you upset today, Justin?” Segura asks loudly in the video. “I’m trying to understand. I want to talk to you. I want to get you some help.”
When Segura asks Charland to put the sword down, he replies: “No, I will die.” Charland is also heard at another point in the video saying, “You die military-style.”
A few minutes later Charland advances toward officers saying he is a ninja.
“Don’t come at me with that, Justin,” Segura shouted to Charland while retreating. “Come on, man, you don’t want to do this.”
Charland shouts “run” multiple times as he continues walking toward Segura and his partner.
“As Mr. Charland was advancing toward the officers, he said he was a ninja and he was going to kill them,” Zimmerman said. He said Charland “lunged” with the 34-inch sword in a “striking position.”
Finally, Segura fired three times at Charland who was just a few yards away. Although the officers performed life-saving measures, Charland was later pronounced dead at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
Charland would have been arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest with a deadly weapon if he had survived, Zimmerman said. He said Charland was arrested three times between 2003 and 2008 for obstructing a public officer, resisting a police officer and battery on a police officer.
A police team was investigating the officer’s use of force, a police statement said. The findings would be forwarded to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office for review. A different police team was examining the incident for a review focused on policy, tactics, and training.