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September 1, 2014

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Police say man shot by off-duty officer at Excalibur had some ‘diminished capacity’

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Saul Villegas

Saul Villegas sat in off-duty Metro Police officer Bernard Plaskett’s unlocked vehicle on the curb outside Excalibur and refused to exit.

First he told Plaskett’s wife he was stealing the car, and then Plaskett. He refused to leave even after Plaskett identified himself as an officer and pulled a gun out of the car.

After refusing to comply to Plaskett’s demands, Villegas reached toward his left leg. Plaskett thought he was reaching for a gun and shot him in the lower arm.

These were the details outlined in a Metro arrest report following Sunday’s officer involved shooting. Villegas, who had some “diminished capacity” according to the report, was arrested on one count of grand theft auto larceny.

The report indicates the following:

Plaskett left his wife and son in their idling Range Rover on the curb near Tower 1 of Excalibur while he went out to greet extended family members. When the family arrived, the wife and son exited the vehicle leaving the keys inside and the doors unlocked.

Plaskett’s wife was the first to discover Villegas in the driver’s seat and that he had turned the vehicle on. Villegas told her to get in the car, and claimed he was taking the car for a ride. Surprised, she demanded Villegas leave the car three times.

When Villegas reached toward the center console, she thought he was reaching for a gun. She backed away and warned Plaskett.

Plaskett identified himself as an officer and ordered Villegas to exit the car. When Villegas reached toward his left leg, Plaskett thought he was grabbing a gun and shot him.

Only then did Villegas leave the car.

He walked around the front of the vehicle and was taken into custody by Excalibur security officers.

Villegas told police detectives that his intent was to steal the vehicle and take it for a ride. While the officers noted he had some “diminished capacity,” they said he was able to understand that stealing a car was wrong.

The Clark County District Attorney is in the process of charging Villegas on one count of grand theft auto larceny and burglary.

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