Investigation continues into Gardnerville cemetery shooting
Last week’s officer-involved shooting at Garden Cemetery in Gardnerville was the first such incident since three deputies were shot at in two incidents in 2005.
On Wednesday, David Pendleton, 77, was fatally shot at the Garden Cemetery after he pointed a loaded shotgun at a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy who returned fire with his duty revolver.
The case is under investigation, and Deputy Richard Koontz, Jr., 29, has been placed on routine leave.
According to reports, authorities believe Pendleton called 911 to report a dead body lying in the Gardnerville cemetery by a white truck.
Koontz was the first officer on the scene and found Pendleton holding the rifle at a location 10 feet from the man’s family burial plot.
He attempted to talk Pendleton into putting down the loaded rifle, but the man pointed it at the deputy instead.
According to reports, Pendleton had a history of contacts with law enforcement and an extensive weapons collection. Family members said in the past he had threatened to shoot civilians and law enforcement officers.
The shooting is being investigated by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, district attorney, and Nevada Department of Public Safety.
Prior to last week’s incident, the most recent officer-involved shootings took place in 2005.
In April 2005, Deputy Robert Duffy was shot and critically wounded by suspect Joshua Petri in the Kingslane Mobile Home Park. Duffy, now a sergeant, suffered a hand injury. Petri committed suicide inside his home shortly after shooting Duffy.
Two deputies were involved in a December 2005 incident with suspect Harvey Ex at Harrah’s casino at Stateline. Deputies Erik Eissinger and Dan Nelson attempted to contact Ex in the Diamond Lounge after receiving a call from security officers that Ex was despondent, suicidal and armed.
He refused to talk to them, pulled a gun from his waistband and shot at the deputies.
One round hit Eissinger in the abdomen, but he was protected by his ballistic vest which stopped the bullet from penetrating. Nelson was shot in the forearm and the hip, but was able to shoot and kill Ex during the altercation.
In April 1998, Sgt. Jim Bagwell, Deputy Ron Bushey and Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Amy Del Sodato responded to a domestic dispute at Oxoby Mobile Home Park.
Suspect Troy Allen Bacon opened fire with an SKS assault rifle. Bacon was shot in the lower leg, and the law enforcement officers sustained no injuries.
Bacon was sentenced to 18 years in prison on three charges of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer.
At his sentencing, Bacon said he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. He said he wanted the deputies to return fire and kill him.
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