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Reno Police: Deputy shot suspect as he reached near area of loaded shotgun in patrol car

A sheriff's patrol vehicle is stationed near a deputy-involved shooting in Spanish Springs on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 (SBG)

A sheriff's deputy in Spanish Springs opened fire on a man who appeared to be reaching toward where a loaded shotgun was kept in a patrol vehicle, according to Reno Police.

Police officials said in a statement Monday that the suspect shot and killed on Friday has been identified as 35-year-old Cory Stephens.

The deputy-involved shooting followed a struggle between the deputy and Stephens, according to police. The deputy had originally responded to a report of a person down in a vehicle Friday, Aug. 4, in the area of Calle De La Plata and Echaniz Court in Spanish Springs.

According to a the statement from Reno Police, the deputy investigated the incident while REMSA arrived and medically cleared Stephens. That deputy learned Stephens possibly had two outstanding warrants, though police say the circumstances surrounding the warrants were unclear because Stephens provided a false name.

The deputy tried to handcuff Stephens, but the suspect moved away and became uncooperative, police say. The deputy pointed a stun gun at him and issued repeated commands, but Stephens did not cooperate. Stephens "assumed an aggressive stance toward the deputy," who deployed the stun gun, hitting the suspect and dropping him to the ground, the statement reads.

Stephens was able to take out one of the probes, however, which police say made the stun gun ineffective. The deputy then tried to physically detain him, but Stephens "remained combative" and eventually removed the radio from the deputy's belt and hit the officer multiple times on the head with it.

The two eventually got to their feet, and the deputy pointed his gun at Stephens, issuing verbal commands, according to the statement from police. Those commands were ignored, and Stephens moved to the deputy's patrol vehicle, where the keys were still in the ignition and loaded firearms were kept.

Stephens opened the driver's side door and reached toward the center console area, where a loaded shotgun was stored, police say. The deputy fired his gun, hitting and killing Stephens.

Stephens did not live in the area, and it's unclear why he was in Washoe County, Reno Police say. Further investigation confirmed that Stephens was wanted on two outstanding arrest warrants. The details of those warrants have not been released.

Authorities learned that his car was reported stolen out of Fallon, and the license plates were reported stolen out of Sparks.

Toxicology results are pending from the Washoe County Medical Examiner's Office, and police say they do not know what role drugs or alcohol played in the incident.

The deputy involved suffered minor injuries and has been placed on administrative leave.

The Reno Police Department is investigating as part of the regional officer-involved shooting protocol, with assistance from detectives from the Sparks Police Department. The investigation remains active, and anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Reno Police at 334-2188, Secret Witness at 322-4900, www.secretwitness.com, or text the tip to 847411 (TIP 411) keyword – SW.

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