Body camera video shows fatal police shooting of ex-Marine
Newly released body camera footage shows the fatal police shooting of a former U.S. Marine who was carrying an AR-15 in his own backyard in North Las Vegas.
Darin Dyer, 38, was shot dead just before 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 by Sgt. Paul Sanderson, North Las Vegas Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jeff Wall said.
The video shows a brief exchange of words between Dyer and Sanderson, who responded to Dyer’s home in the 4300 block of Westmere Avenue after a neighbor had called 911 reporting a man who appeared to be trying to break into the house.
The officer sounded friendly at first but then shouted at an increasingly hostile Dyer to explain why he was there. Dyer also seemed reasonable but then suddenly became frustrated and shouted profanities at Sanderson.
The video footage, edited to slow motion at this point, showed Dyer, with the AR-15 strapped around his upper body, turning to walk back toward his house before turning back to face Sanderson.
Police initially said that the 911 caller told them that “an unknown man in his 20s was in his backyard with a long metal pole,” and he “seemed to be drunk or on drugs.”
The North Las Vegas Police Department initially said that the 911 caller told them that “an unknown man in his 20s was in his backyard with a long metal pole,” and he “seemed to be drunk or on drugs.”
Suddenly, there was a volley of shots from Sanderson’s gun. As Sanderson fired, the movement of his body appeared to slightly shift the camera’s focus toward the ground, so Dyer was not visible when he was shot.
It’s not clear if the caller knew Dyer or if he knew the man he was calling about lived at the house.
Another neighbor whose backyard faces Dyer’s home said she did not understand why the other neighbor called 911 in the first place.
“It’s sad that it ended that way,” said Alana McAllister, 41, the day after the shooting. “I don’t think he deserved to die in his backyard like that.”
“Why he thought that, why he didn’t recognize the guy who lived there, I can’t tell you,” Wall said about the 911 caller.
The audio from the 911 call was also released. The caller, a man whose identity has not been released in accordance with state law, could be heard telling a dispatcher he could see into Dyer’s backyard.
“There’s a house here, and there was a party earlier, a large party, and now someone has a very large, hard implement, and they’re trying to break in through the back sliding glass window for the last, like, maybe 10 minutes, and I don’t know if he’s drunk or on drugs,” the caller can be heard saying. “I don’t even know if he belongs (inaudible).”
The man had called 911 from outside in his backyard. Some of his words were inaudible because of the audio quality and the dispatcher talking over him while she asked questions.
The caller said he hoped what he was witnessing wasn’t a domestic violence situation or worse.
The 911 caller and Dyer yelled back and forth while the caller spoke to the dispatcher. The dispatcher urged the caller to not talk to the man while also urging him to go back inside his house.
“He’s saying to me, he’s asking me if I want to die,” the caller told the dispatcher.
At one point, the dispatcher asked: “Does he seem like he’s drunk or on drugs?”
“Yes,” the caller said. “One or the other, for sure.”
Police arrived at about 10:17 p.m. When Sanderson approached, the video shows, he could see Dyer in his backyard through a metal fence.
“Police Department. Hi. How you doing?” Sanderson said.
“Yeah, I’m good. How are you?” Dyer responded.
“Good,” Sanderson said. “What’s up with the gun? Keep that where I can see it.”
Sanderson told Dyer that another officer was coming to his front door.
“I don’t give a (expletive), dude,” Dyer said.
Sanderson then explained to Dyer why police were there. “Alright! I just heard — we heard banging. We’re out here checking it out. You’re out here with your gun.”
“So what! So what!” Dyer responded. “What are you going to do? What are you going to do?”
“Nothing,” Sanderson said.
Dyer then apparently asked if the officer was going to shoot him and said something inaudible, possibly about the front door.
Sanderson then fired what sounded like five shots, and the video ended.
Friends of Dyer’s want answers. He didn’t deserve to be shot, they say.
Ashley Zimmerman, 36, of Viola, Illinois, said she didn’t think anything that transpired that night justified Dyer being shot dead.
“Regardless, he never threatened the officer’s life nor did he turn the gun on the officer to warrant having shot him, and I’m not sure one man deserves five shots,” Zimmerman said in an email.
“There is just so much to wonder,” Zimmerman said. “Darin wasn’t perfect, but the PD isn’t perfect here either.”
According to an online obituary, Dyer was born in Silvis, Illinois, the son of Douglas and Alice Wilson Dyer. After graduating high school in Aledo, Illinois, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2005. Dyer served in Iraq and Afghanistan before he was honorably discharged as a sergeant in 2010.
“Darin was an avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and collecting game calls and decoys,” the obituary reads. “He also had an extensive sports card collection. Darin loved to go fast, as well as turning a wrench to work on things. He loved spending time with his family and friends and there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for them.”
A visitation is set for Friday at 10 a.m., with funeral services scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Dennison Funeral Home in Viola, Illinois.
A burial, with military rites, will take place at New Boston Cemetery in New Boston, Illinois.