The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) takes seriously the protection of life and property and treats any loss of human life with the utmost concern. In coordination with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the BLM is investigating the incident and is able to provide at this time the following preliminary information from the ongoing investigation.
On Friday, February 14, 2014, the BLM received several reports from citizens who were concerned for the safety of a man walking along the highly trafficked State Route 159 highway. The citizens reported the man was walking in and out of on-coming traffic. In addition, two cyclists who were bicycling along the highway reported seeing this same man and expressed fear for themselves and the safety of others in the area.
BLM Law Enforcement Officers were dispatched to the scene, and upon arrival made contact with the man later identified as 20 year-old D’Andre Berghardt Jr. BLM officers attempted to speak with Mr. Berghardt in order to ascertain his identity and welfare. At this point, officers ordered Mr. Berghardt out of the roadway.
Mr. Berghardt then began to actively resist the officers. Despite continued attempts to gain compliance through verbal commands and utilizing available secondary measures — including multiple Taser deployments, pepper spray and a baton — the officers were unable to gain compliance. During this time, Mr. Berghardt attempted to gain entry into two occupied privately owned vehicles, which the officers physically tried to prevent for the safety of the public.
A Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper also arrived on the scene and the officers attempted to take Mr. Berghardt into custody after the NHP Trooper deployed his Taser. Mr. Berghardt threatened to shoot the officers and entered the running NHP cruiser where he reached for the trooper’s duty rifle contained in a firearms safety rack. Fearing for their own safety and the safety of the numerous citizens in the immediate vicinity, the two BLM officers engaged Mr. Berghardt with gunfire. Medical personnel were summoned and Mr. Berghardt was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Both BLM law enforcement officers involved have significant law enforcement experience and training, including mandatory annual training. One officer has 17 years of law enforcement experience; the other officer has more than nine years of federal law enforcement experience.
In accordance with standard procedure, this incident is under investigation by the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and the BLM. Until the investigation is complete, the BLM is unable to provide further comments on the details of the shooting or the investigation. The officers have been placed on routine administrative leave.