Details released about fatal shooting
An armed man killed in a gun battle that resulted in the shooting of two Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies purchased the weapon he used at a gun store that day.
Harvey Ex, 53, of Sunset Beach, Calif., purchased two weapons classified as antiques from a Roundhill gun store, Guns of Tahoe on Saturday. One of the weapons was the .32 caliber handgun he used to shoot deputies Dan Nelson and Erik Eissinger at about 2:07 p.m. at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.
According to Douglas County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tom Mezzetta, the deputies responded to Harrah’s Tahoe Diamond Lounge on a report from Harrah’s security that Ex was despondent, suicidal and armed.
Nelson and Eissinger approached Ex, who stood up and began to walk away. When the deputies ordered him to stop and show his hands.
One of the deputies saw Ex reaching into his waistband and grabbed him. Ex then pulled his weapon with his right hand and brought it up under his left arm to fire on the deputies.
Eissinger was hit in the abdomen, but was protected by his bulletproof vest. In all Ex fired five rounds from the .32, hitting Nelson once in the forearm and again in the hip. That bullet traveled around Nelson’s body and lodged in his back.
The deputies returned fire, hitting Ex nine times between them, killing him.
Deputies Eissinger and Nelson are on paid administrative leave and are recuperating at home.
Sheriff Ron Pierini said he spoke with both men on Monday and they were doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances.
“They are in OK spirits,” he said. “I think there is very much of a traumatic and emotional process that comes after being involved with a shooting like this.”
Pierini said Nelson will be in recovery for his wounds for up to six weeks.
“Dan Nelson said his doctor figures it will take him six weeks to recover,” Pierini said. “A bullet broke his left arm, but their appears to be no nerve damage.” A second bullet struck Nelson in the hip and exited out his back.
“He was very, very fortunate the bullet didn’t come closer to his backbone,” Pierini said. “As it turns out it passed through doing superficial damage.”
Pierini said Eissinger’s bullet proof vest save him from serious injury at minimum and may have saved his life.
“There’s a bruise and a laceration from the impact of the bullet,” Pierini said. “There’s no question he was saved from extensive injury. Still it is a huge impact on the chest.”
Pierini said that while the investigation is still ongoing, everything he’s heard so far is that the deputies behaved in a professional manner.
“The information I have indicates they acted very well in a high risk situation,” he said. “We are reviewing the evidence, including video. It’s still under investigation, but it seems to me they acted appropriately. You never know what you are going to run into. This was a very high risk situation. The deputies were cautious, they did what they had to do. We’ve been very fortunate none of our deputies have been killed.”
Pierini said investigators for his office and the District Attorney’s Office are conducted an investigation and that the information will be forwarded to District Attorney Scott Doyle for disposition.
“It will take some time to complete all the reports and reinterview the people involved,” he said. “The D.A. could clear the officers at his level or convene an inquest. It is totally up to him. We do the criminal aspect of the investigation with the assistance of the District Attorney’s investigators. The administrative investigation is conducted by the Nevada Division of Investigation with a totally independent review of procedures. We’re not hiding anything. We always want everything to be done appropriately.”