The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office found the November 2015 officer involved shooting on Thorn Berry Court in Sun Valley to be justified.
The shooting involved a Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy and Gregory Kachman, 32, from Reno, who was sentenced earlier this month to 10 years in prison for assault upon an Officer with the use of a deadly weapon and stalking.
District Attorney Chris Hicks says the incident began when the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to an address on Thorn Berry Court to investigate a report of domestic violence. Kachman had been arguing with his ex-girlfriend when he became violent. When WCSO deputies arrived, they saw injuries to the victim’s chest consistent with the battery. Kachman was not present.
Soon thereafter, Kachman returned and stopped in front of the residence. The deputy ordered Kachman to turn the vehicle off and to show his hands. He drew his service pistol and stood at the front of the vehicle while he ordered Kachman to roll the window down and again show his hands. Kachman yelled at the deputy that he “f---ing didn’t do anything”. He then put his vehicle in gear and accelerated directly towards the deputy.
Fearing for his safety and the safety of acquaintances of the victim who were on scene and outside the residence, the deputy simultaneously moved out of the way and fired three shots at Kachman. One of the bullets struck Kachman on his left side and fractured two of his thoracic vertebrae. Kachman‘s truck continued down the street where it crashed into a parked vehicle and ended up on its side with Kachman ejected. Kachman was taken to the hospital for treatment and sustained injuries that resulted in paralysis.
Kachman had over eight times the legal driving limit of methamphetamine in his blood and a search of his truck revealed seven grams of the drug. Kachman was subsequently arrested and charged by this office with a number of criminal offenses.
He ultimately pled guilty in January to one count of Assault Upon an Officer with the Use of a Deadly Weapon and one count of Aggravated Stalking. Kachman also received a 6 month jail sentence for a domestic battery charge. The review by the district attorney of the legality of the shooting was deferred until the criminal charges were adjudicated.
Upon a review of all the investigative materials provided, it is the opinion of DA Hicks that the shooting of Gregory Stuart Kachman was legally justified under Nevada law. The facts show that the deputy faced imminent danger of death or substantial bodily harm from a non-compliant and impaired suspect who, without warning, admittedly attempted to drive over the deputy with a full-sized truck. Furthermore, the deputy reasonably believed that Kachman posed a risk to the citizens in the area (the victim’s acquaintances who were near the deputy and Kachman’s vehicle). Unless new circumstances come to light which contradict the factual foundations upon which this decision is made, the District Attorney’s review of this case is officially closed.
The Washoe County District Attorney's Office contributed to this report.
The Sparks Police Department is investigating an officer-involved shooting in Sun Valley early Wednesday morning.
The Washoe County Sheriff's Office says they responded to a report of a domestic disturbance in the 5000 block of Thorn Berry Court just after midnight.
Sparks Police say when deputies arrived, the suspect identified as 30-year-old Gregory Kachman was not there but quickly pulled up in his pickup truck.
Officers say the deputy ordered Kachman to get out but he did not comply and instead tried to run the deputy over causing the deputy to fire and causing the suspect to roll his vehicle.
"It wasn't like he was pressing on the gas or anything like that it just kind of rolled down there, went off of a retaining wall and into another guy's driveway and flipped over,” says Sparks Police Department Sgt. Charles Alt.
Police say the deputy was treated for minor injuries.
Kachman was hospitalized with critical injuries and underwent surgery on Wednesday afternoon.
"He has one bullet wound that goes through the side of his chest and is lodged in the other side of his chest, maybe nicking the spinal cord. We're not sure," Alt said.
Police say Kachman has an extensive criminal history.
This morning's incident was the fifth officer-involved shooting in Northern Nevada in less than three months and another happened in South Lake Tahoe back in June.
Officers say there is a trend, nationwide in these types of incidents, with people taking on the police more often.
"If people don't want to comply with what we ask them to do and people draw guns on us, people try to run us over, we have a right to defend ourselves," Alt said.
Reno Police Department Det. Lt. William Rulla has been in law enforcement for about 20 years. He says he has seen a steep increase in officer-involved shootings in the past 5-8 years.
"We have seen this increase in officer-involved shootings and the type of behavior that's exhibited during these types of shootings," Rulla said. "To me, it is a large number. Especially for a region like this."
Since June, officer involved shootings have happened in South Lake Tahoe, Douglas County, Carson City, two in Reno and one in Sun Valley. All involved different agencies Four of those were domestic disturbance calls. Rulla says those are some of the most common and unpredictable calls.
"Whether it's mental health issues, alcohol, drug issues, you have money issues, infidelity issues. They become the most volatile," Rulla said. "You go to a bank robbery, with a guy armed with a gun, or a robbery at a liquor store, with a guy with a machete, you kind of know what you're getting into because of the nature of the call. You go to a domestic, you may not know what you have in that house."
Officers go through many different training methods to prepare them as well as possible for possible encounters where they have to use deadly force. If that happens, the goal is for the officer to react, like it is second nature.
"It's not something we take very lightly and depending on the situation, the threat involved, the people around us, citizens around us, there's a lot of things that go into determining 'When do I pull the trigger?'" Rulla said.
Officers also go through background checks during the recruitment process, where any psychological or behavioral issues may disqualify someone from being hired. When officers are on the job, Rulla says pulling the trigger is the last resort.
"None of us wake up in the morning, put our gun belts on and our badges and say 'this is the day I'm going to shoot somebody,'" Rulla said. "That's the last thing we want to do. We all want to go home safe. We have families."
Due to the nature of Wednesday's incident, the Sparks Police Department is now leading the investigation, with help from Washoe County Sheriff's Office and the Reno Police Department.
Anyone with any information related to the incident is encouraged to contact the Sparks Police Department at 353-2225 or Secret Witness at 322-4900 or text your tip to 847411. Your information will remain anonymous.