A Las Vegas police officer of 23 years was killed in a shootout with a suspect after midnight on Thursday.
Truong Thai, 49, died of a gunshot wound to the torso while being transported to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. The suspect, Tyson Hampton, 24, was taken into custody.
The encounter began at around 1 a.m. when Thai and another officer responded to a domestic disturbance call in the area of South University Center Drive and East Flamingo Road. Upon their arrival, Hampton allegedly opened fire, striking Thai and another civilian, who is expected to recover.
Hampton fled the scene but was arrested immediately with the help of a Metro K-9 unit. Police said he sustained minor injuries.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) South Central Area Command released a statement shortly after Thai’s death. They described him as a “dedicated” and “passionate” veteran of the department.
“We are devastated to let you know that Ofc. Truong Thai from LVMPD South Central Area Command was killed in the line of duty following a deadly shooting with an armed man Thursday morning,” the statement said. “Ofc. Thai was a dedicated, 23-year veteran of this department. He held various roles over his time here including as a firearms instructor. He was passionate about training new officers.”
Thai is survived by his daughter, who would play volleyball with him. He also served as a girls’ volleyball coach for many years, according to the LVMPD.
“I was at the hospital early this morning with his ex-wife and his daughter,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said during a news conference on Thursday. “Our condolences go out to his family. We will be helping them in any way we can in the following days. The incident demonstrates the dangers our officers face every day just putting on the uniform and doing their job.”
Hampton is being held at a downtown Las Vegas jail. Court records show he had been convicted of drawing a deadly weapon in a threatening manner, a misdemeanor.
The Injured Police Officers Fund has organized a vigil and a donation page for Thai. The vigil will be held at Sunset Park, Pavilion F, at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
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