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North Las Vegas police cleared in shooting death of gunman who wounded officer during chase

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LAS VEGAS — Two North Las Vegas police officers have been cleared in the fatal shooting of a 28-year-old man who investigators say abandoned a car in a stranger's driveway and used a stolen gun to wound one of the officers during a foot pursuit last year.

Officers Shane Forsberg and David Wells were legally justified in the death late Oct. 10 of Al Jarreau Cross, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said in a report released Thursday.

Forsberg and Wells have returned to full duty, Officer Aaron Patty, a department spokesman, said Friday.

Cross shrugged off the effects of a stun gun before firing five shots at Forsberg as they ran toward a vacant lot off West Carey Avenue near Revere Street, the report said.

Forsberg, a seven-year police veteran, was wounded four times in the legs but recovered.

"Mr. Cross' decision to shoot at the officer, actually striking him four times, left the officer with no choice but to return fire," Wolfson said.

Forsberg and Wells fired nine shots, hitting Cross five times in the chest, shoulder, back, buttock and thigh, Wolfson said.

The car Cross abandoned belonged to his mother, the report said. The 9mm handgun he used was reported stolen in Las Vegas in November 2013.

Wolfson said Cross had the tranquilizer meprobamate in his system, along with metabolic byproducts of marijuana and the asthma medication theophylline.

Wolfson's report followed a Monday public airing of evidence that he said was postponed to investigate contentions by Cross family members that witnesses to the shooting hadn't been interviewed by police.

Four handwritten letters forwarded to Wolfson through a family lawyer came from people who didn't witness the shooting and had no information useful to the investigation, Wolfson said.

The findings in the Cross case came two days after Wolfson cleared a veteran Las Vegas police SWAT officer in the on-duty slaying of a one-time casino security officer who police said wielded a handgun and an assault-style rifle during a March 2014 standoff in a recreational vehicle at Jean Airport.

Two more public airings of officer-involved shootings are scheduled in coming weeks.

A June 8 review will look at the fatal March 10, 2014, killing of David L. Robinson, 38, in the backyard of an abandoned home in North Las Vegas. Robinson's family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming the slaying was excessive force.

A June 10 hearing will examine evidence in the April 8, 2014, shooting death of Travis Doering, 40, outside a Las Vegas home. Police said Doering brandished an SKS assault rifle during a 90-minute standoff and was shot by a SWAT officer when he pointed the weapon at police.

Las Vegas police killed eight people in 16 officer-involved shootings in 2014. Each time, police say the person who was shot had a weapon.

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