ELKO – Dashboard and body cam footage of an officer-involved shooting on Friday night shows the suspect fleeing from a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper during a traffic stop, followed by the sound of gunfire.
Aaron W. Keller, 30, of Spring Creek fired at the trooper and was killed just moments after he was pulled over at 12th and River streets, according to Col. Daniel Solow, chief of the NHP.
Solow was in Elko on Tuesday to show the video at a morning press conference. He identified the officer involved as Trooper Jacob Evans, 25, who has been with the agency for just over three years.
Evans was not injured and is on paid administrative leave pending completion of the investigation.
The trooper’s dashboard footage shows Keller’s vehicle approaching the 12th and Silver Street intersection during a red light, and turning right without stopping first.
Keller rolls down his window and discusses the traffic violation with Evans.
Evans then asks for Keller’s license and registration, and asks him how much marijuana he has smoked.
“No, I haven’t,” Keller replies.
Evans then asks why his car smells like marijuana, and why he has red eyes.
“I don’t,” Keller replies.
Evans then orders Keller out of the car, asking if he has any weapons on him.
“No, I don’t,” Keller replies, appearing to be in distress.
“Please, officer, I didn’t smoke any marijuana,” he continues. “I can’t do this, sir.”
“What’s wrong,” Evans asks.
“Officer, please,” he replies, then dashes away from the car.
Solow said Evans drew his Taser and warned Keller of his intent to use it. At that point, Keller drew a handgun that was concealed in a bandanna from his right rear pocket and fired three or four rounds at Evans while they ran toward the 12th Street Bridge.
The trooper returned fire, striking Keller with all seven shots, Solow said.
Medical personnel were called and Keller was pronounced dead at the scene.
Solow said Keller was unemployed and had a criminal history dating back to 2010. He was on probation for burglary and other charges. He said the weapon used by Keller was a .380 semi-automatic handgun, which he was not legally permitted to have because of his felony conviction.
Elko Police Department determined that the gun was stolen in a recent burglary in Elko County, and that Keller was also in possession of illegal drugs at the time he was pulled over.
“At the time of the shooting, Keller was in possession of over five grams of methamphetamine, over three grams of heroin, and prescription medications for which he did not have a prescription, as well as approximately one pound of marijuana,” stated EPD.
Solow said this is the fourth officer-involved shooting in Nevada this year, and the first in Northern Command-East since 2013.
The incident is being investigated by Elko Police Department with assistance from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Elko Daily files, Keller was accused of burglarizing a home in Spring Creek in April 2018.
He was arrested in August 2018 on charges of burglary while in possession of a gun or deadly weapon, home invasion, grand larceny of a gun, and grand larceny valued at more than $3,500.
He pleaded guilty to burglary in April 2019 and was placed on probation in Elko District Court Dept. 1 after being sentenced to serve one to six years in prison and pay $2,800 restitution.
Keller had multiple prior arrests at the time, including one for domestic battery in January 2018. He pleaded no contest that August and was given a suspended sentence in Elko Justice Court.