Manager at Carson City Senator Apartments was ‘a very brave lady to confront a man with a gun,” authorities say
An elderly man shot by an NHP trooper last week fired his revolver twice in the minutes leading up to his death, perhaps once at the manager of the Senator Apartments.
Douglas County Sheriff’s investigators are investigating the shooting with assistance from Carson City Sheriff’s Office and Nevada Department of Safety Investigation Division.
Nevada Highway Patrol Chief Dennis Osborn held a press conference Monday to inform the public about the details of the shooting that left 76-year-old Henry Simpson dead.
NHP Troopers and Carson City Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to reports of shots fired at the Roop Street Senator Apartments at 9:29 a.m. on Nov. 1. Acording to Osborn, the apartment manager discovered Simpson in her apartment bathroom with a .32 revolver in his hand after he shot a round into the floor. He had allegedly entered through an unlocked door. She attempted to negotiate with Simpson, asking him to give her the weapon, but he refused.
“He took a shot and she saw the flash on the muzzle,” Osborn said. “…We take it as he was trying to shoot at her.”
It is suspected that Simpson had attempted to shoot her and missed, firing the window behind her instead, NHP said.
The manager’s office is composed of three units, numbers 98, 99 and 100, with the office in 98 and the manager’s residence in 99 and 100. Simpson was discovered in apartment 100.
The manager retreated out of apartment 100 and back into 98 where she attempted to barricade the door while a maintenance worker called 911.
“She was a very brave lady to confront a man with a gun and try to talk him down,” Osborn said.
Both agencies arrived on scene and attempted to give verbal commands to surrender through apartment 98, however Simpson allegedly didn’t comply. The maintenance worker told NHP Trooper Chris Johnson about the connected apartment and in order to keep the other officers safe, Johnson entered the premises. Osborn said they were fearful Simpson was going to attempt to exit through apartment 100 and compromise the officers surrounding the apartment.
“He was given information … and he acted on it,” Osborn said.
Johnson and a Carson sergeant and deputy then made entry into apartment 98 where he encountered Simpson and continued to give verbal commands for him to drop the weapon.
According to Osborn, investigation revealed that Simpson, who had been facing the window, turned toward Johnson, switched hands holding the revolver and went into a shooter stance. Osborn said that Simpson raised the weapon to the trooper. Simpson had the hammer cocked during the exchange, the investigation revealed.
Johnson then shot Simpson three times in the torso area. Deputies called for medics at 9:40 a.m., however, Simpson was pronounced dead on scene at 9:42 a.m.
The entire incident lasted about six minutes from the time the 911 call was placed to Simpson’s death.
It is still unclear why Simpson started shooting, however, the manager told police that he said he was looking for his dog and confused where he was. He had no criminal history, but Simpson’s mental health is being evaluated by investigators, who are speaking with Simpson’s family and neighbors, however, it is unknown at this time whether he suffered from any illnesses.
Investigation revealed that Simpson did fire off at least two shots from the revolver.
Investigation revealed Simpson was a resident at the apartment building for 16 years. He was born and raised in Nevada, moving to Carson nearly 20 years ago.
Trooper Johnson, 43, is a 17-year veteran with NHP and worked day shift community enforcement with NHP. He was using his department issued Smith and Wesson NMP AR-15 rifle. Per protocol, he has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.
This is the fourth officer involved shooting NHP has had this year.