Sheriff's Office

PR #:
Date Issued:
Oct 22, 2021 - 3:12PM

For Immediate Release

Update to officer involved shooting in Golden Valley

Case Number:
Sergeant Jeff McCaskill
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office: (775) 328-8710
Cell: (775) 453-0107

On October 19, 2021, at approximately 1:00 p.m. Law Enforcement Officers from multiple agencies were involved in an officer involved shooting in the area of Golden Valley Drive and US Highway 395.

The shooting took place after Detectives with the regional Repeat Offender Program (ROP) team attempted to stop a wanted subject, identified yesterday by the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office as Richard Thomas, in the area of North Virginia and Golden Valley Drive.  Thomas fled from Detectives in his vehicle and collided with an unmarked police unit.  One Detective was pinned between Thomas’ vehicle and a stationary police vehicle.  Another Detective, who was attempting to detain Thomas, was still partially in Thomas’ vehicle as Thomas fled the area at high speed.  Shots were fired as Thomas fled.  Thomas’ vehicle came to rest near the south-bound on ramp to US 395 and Golden Valley Drive.  Two Detectives, one with the Reno Police Department and one with the Sparks Police Department fired their duty weapon during the incident.

One Detective sustained minor injuries after falling from a speeding vehicle during the incident.  The injured Detective was transported to the hospital and later released.

Richard Thomas was fatally wounded during the incident.  Thomas was wanted on an outstanding felony warrant for a firearms charge.

The ROP team is comprised of Detectives from the Reno Police Department, Sparks Police Department, and the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.

This is an ongoing investigation as the Washoe County Regional Officer Involved Shooting Protocol has been enacted.  The investigation involves Investigators from the Reno and Sparks Police Departments, The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, and the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office.

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.


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