A man accused of killing a Las Vegas police officer in October could face the death penalty after prosecutors formally filed a notice of intent to seek capital punishment in the case.
The suspect, 24-year-old Tyson Hampton, is accused of fatally shooting Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer Truong Thai.
Police said Thai, 49, was responding to a domestic violence call from Hampton’s wife at the time, who claimed that Hampton had beat her.
According to court records, Hampton was charged with 28 crimes, including multiple counts of murder, battery, battery constituting domestic violence, four counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault and 19 counts of illegally discharging a weapon.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, the main prosecutor in the case, said the prosecution is formerly seeking the death penalty for Hampton.
Body camera footage released by police after the shooting showed Thai approach Hampton while he was sitting in a vehicle near University Center Drive and Flamingo Road.
After ignoring Thai’s questions, Hampton reached for an AK-47 pistol in his passenger seat and fired 18 rounds while Officer Thai was walking back to his vehicle.
The bullets struck Thai, Hampton’s mother-in-law and her car, as well as a Metro patrol vehicle.
Thai was hit by a bullet in the side, passing through his bulletproof vest, police reported.
Thai and officer Ryan Gillihan subsequently returned fire. Gillihan was unharmed in the shooting.
Thai died hours later at a Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
“What was displayed in this video was this menace, that’s what I consider him, this menace acted with total disregard for human life,” Wolfson said after a recent court hearing for Hampton. “But for the grace of God, there could have been three to four more people murdered.”
In prosecutors’ notice of intent, they listed 10 aggravating circumstances that warranted the death penalty. These include attempted murder, assault and battery charges, the killing of a police officer and allegations that Hampton put more than one person at risk of death while committing a murder to avoid arrest.
Hampton pled not guilty to all 28 charges at a court hearing on February 16. He is currently being detained in the Clark County Detention Center without bail.