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California Parolee Shoots Nevada Cop 3 Times In Chest And Face After Early Release

Gardnerville, NV – A Douglas County sheriff’s deputy was shot multiple times in the chest and face by a convicted felon during a traffic stop on Sunday night, according to police.

The incident occurred in the area of Douglas Avenue and Gilman Avenue just after 11 p.m. on Dec. 20, after Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) deputies stopped a vehicle and discovered a wanted man in the passenger seat, KNRV reported.

The fugitive, later identified as Nicholas Berreman, is a convicted felon who was wanted out of California for violating parole, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.

But when the deputies went to take Berreman into custody, he suddenly opened fire, KLAS reported.

“Almost immediately, when deputies attempted to arrest Berreman he shot [DCSO] Sgt. John Lenz three times, striking him in the chest and face,” the department said in a press release.

Deputies returned fire, hitting the suspect in his right hand, KLAS reported.

He was subsequently arrested and transported to the hospital for treatment before he was booked into the Carson City Sheriff’s Office Jail.

Sgt. Lenz was rushed to Carson Valley Medical Center, according to KRNV.

Shortly after his arrival, he was flown to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, where he was taken into surgery, Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong told KLAS.

“Both shots to his chest were stopped by his body armor and one shot was to the left side of his face in his cheek,” the DCSO said.

The wounded sergeant’s condition has not been released, but Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley said on Monday that he expects Sgt. Lenz to recover, The Record-Courier reported.

“I have been to see Sgt. Lenz and his family and we are all extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from the community,” Sheriff Coverley told the paper. “I am confident that Sgt. Lenz will recover and want to thank the medical staff at Carson Valley Medical Center and Renown for their excellent treatment of John.”

Berreman was booked on charges of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, battery with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by an intoxicated person, fugitive from justice, and discharging a firearm in public, KLAS reported.

He was sentenced to four years in prison in June of 2019 for assaulting a police officer in Alpine County, California, according to The Record-Courier. Correction: Media reports indicated Berreman was convicted of assault of a police officer with a firearm. A source with knowledge of the case said that the assault did not involve a firearm.

It is unclear why Berreman was released from prison early.

The driver of the vehicle, Kaela Mae Horse-Berreman, was arrested and booked into the Carson City Sheriff’s Office jail on a charge of harboring or aiding a felony offender, The Record-Courier reported.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office and the Nevada Division of Investigation are handling the ongoing investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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