Two Nevada state troopers were killed in a hit-and-run on a Las Vegas freeway as they helped another driver Thursday morning, officials said.
The troopers had stopped to check on a driver who was asleep behind the wheel on Interstate 15 around 3:30 a.m. when a white Chevrolet HHR struck them both, Las Vegas police said.
The driver did not stop, police spokesperson Branden Clarkson said.
One trooper was pronounced dead at a hospital. The other died at the scene. The Nevada Highway Patrol identified the victims as Sgt. Michael Abbate and Trooper Alberto Felix. Clarkson described them as husbands with children.
Abbate, who had been with the state agency since December 2013, was recently promoted to the rank of sergeant. Felix served in the U.S. Air Force before he joined the department in January 2019.
“It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy to have these troopers lose their lives in the manner they did,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.
Las Vegas Police Undersheriff Andrew Walsh confirmed at a midday news conference that a suspect had been taken into custody hours after the crash.
Police at the scene where two state troopers were struck by a car on duty and died Thursday morning.KSNV
Investigators found the white Chevy unoccupied at an apartment complex around 8 a.m., Clarkson said.
“Right now during this very tragic time, the Nevada State Police is going to need that love and support from the community more than ever,” he said.
The suspect was identified as Jemarcus Williams, 46, police said in a statement Thursday.
Williams was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on two counts of reckless driving resulting in death, two counts of driving under the influence resulting in death and two counts of duty to stop at the scene of an accident involving death, police said.
It was not immediately clear Thursday night whether Williams had retained an attorney.
In a statement, Gov. Joe Lombardo said he was “profoundly saddened by the deaths of two of our brave Nevada State Troopers, who were killed early this morning in Las Vegas.”
“This is a devastating loss for Nevada law enforcement, the city of Las Vegas, and our entire state,” he added. “As we mourn these troopers, we will never forget their bravery, courage, and sacrifice.”
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