A heroic police officer put his life on the line and did what he had to do to stop two extremely dangerous suspects during an unusual high-speed car chase through the streets of downtown Las Vegas.
On July 11, Las Vegas police got word of a 25-year-old man getting shot to death at a car wash, according to ABC 15. The shooter was driven away from the crime scene by another man.
When police caught up to a black Ford Expedition that matched the description, the driver took off through the busy city streets, at times crossing to the opposite side of the road to drive straight at oncoming traffic. One of the men in the SUV fired 34 times out his window as multiple police vehicles joined the pursuit.
The body cam footage of Officer William Umana captured him yelling “shots fired!” over his radio as he closely pursued the vehicle despite being shot at. Knowing someone could get killed at any moment, Umana took drastic action.
In the video, he can be seen shooting through his own windshield as he chases the SUV down a small side street. Take a look:
The SUV came to rest against the brick wall of an elementary school. Police say 30-year-old Rene Nunez jumped out and ran into the school.
According to reports, Nunez was injured by another officer with a shotgun. He was arrested and booked on charges that include murder and attempted murder of a police officer.
22-year-old Fidel Miranda, who didn’t make it out of the SUV, died a short while later at the scene. Umana had riddled his car with bullets after Miranda initially tried to reverse the large vehicle toward approaching officers, NBC 2.
Incredibly, no police officers or bystanders were reportedly hit by the gunfire coming out of the SUV. Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly praised the officers’ quick actions.
"In my opinion, they showed bravery and heroics we come to expect from our officers," he said.
A law enforcement officer shooting through their own windshield, while unusual, is not unprecedented. A Louisville, Ky. officer made a similar tactical move in April while in pursuit of a suspect, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
"When you're in your car you've got your seatbelt on, equipment on and you have a steering wheel," explained Louisville Metro Police Officer Nicolai Jilek. "If you can, you want to return fire from the car as quick as possible."
Watch the longer Las Vegas chase video below: