Prosecutor: Knife-wielding man deputy killed at Buck Creek had drugs in system

Published: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 @ 12:19 PM
Updated: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 @ 6:58 PM

The Clark County Sheriff's Office has released body cam footage (above) showing the moments leading up to a deputy-involved shooting Sunday evening at Buck Creek State Park.

UPDATE @ 7:00 p.m.: Michael Spencer, who was holding a knife when he ran at a sheriff's deputy who shot him dead at Buck Creek State Park in June, had drugs in his system, county Prosecutor Dan Driscoll said Wednesday. 

“Mr. Spencer was found to have a lot of methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death,” Driscoll said, noting that a county grand jury that declined to indict the deputy included a review of the toxicology reports from Spencer's autopsy. 

The grand jury cited self-defense in its decision not to indict Deputy Justin Nawman in the June shooting. 

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Nawman is back at work, having completed his administrative leave, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.

INITIAL REPORT

A Clark County grand jury will not indict a deputy who shot a man at Buck Creek State Park in June, according to the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office.

Clark County Prosecutor Dan Driscoll said the grand jury found that the deputy “acted reasonably and that the shooting was justified.”

According to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, deputy Justin Nawman shot and killed 29-year-old Michael Spencer after Spencer ran at Nawman with a knife.

BODY CAM RELEASED: Man shot, killed while running toward deputy with knife 

A statement previously released by the sheriff’s office says that Nawman requested backup when he saw Spencer, who had blood on his hands and neck, holding a knife. Nawman and other deputies approached Spencer and attempted to defuse the situation.

Body camera footage shows Spencer run at Nawman with a knife, and then shots are fired. The video also shows deputies and first responders try to save Spencer once he was shot.

After the incident, Nawman was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

The sheriff’s office released a statement on Wednesday that says Nawman was returned to full-duty.

The sheriff’s office will conduct their own internal investigation, which is standard procedure whenever a deputy fires their weapon in the line of duty.