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Boy, 13, killed in botched shop heist was shot in back
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — An unarmed 13-year-old boy who died during a botched grab-and-run theft at a Las Vegas smoke shop was shot seven times in the back and head, according to a prosecutor, police and coroner reports.
Details about the Dec. 2 death of Fabriccio Patti emerged as the clerk, Raad Sunna, 24, appeared for the first time Thursday before a Las Vegas judge. He was allowed to remain free on $150,000 bail and house arrest pending a preliminary hearing Jan. 19.
Sunna wasn’t asked to enter a plea to the murder charge against him. He didn’t comment outside court where he was met by about a dozen friends and supporters.
“This tragedy has affected two families,” Sunna’s attorney, Dominic Gentile, told reporters. “Nobody wanted it to happen.”
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, in a separate interview, also called it “a sad tragic case that didn’t have to happen.”
“In my opinion, there was a lapse of judgment by all,” he said.
Wolfson said the two other boys, ages 15 and 14, are in custody and will face juvenile criminal charges. He didn’t detail the nature of the charges.
Store surveillance video showing the shooting won’t be released until it is made part of the court record, the district attorney added.
Gentile said he hadn’t seen the video yet. Police and prosecutors say it shows the teens never came close to Sunna or appeared to threaten him.
One of the other teens later told police they intended to steal a marijuana water pipe. They didn’t wear masks, but pulled sweatshirt hoods and clothing over their faces before entering the store, police said. None had a weapon.
One held the door and two others, including Patti, ran into Lucky Cigar and Smokes toward the sales counter where police say Sunna opened fire with a handgun.
“Sunna believed he was about to be robbed or killed and was in fear for his life,” police said, summarizing what Sunna told detectives before his arrest.
Gentile, a prominent Nevada criminal defense and constitutional law attorney, didn’t immediately respond to a question about whether Sunna will claim self-defense. Gentile said he was just beginning to investigate the case.
The police report notes that Patti and the other boys, all classmates at a nearby middle school, planned the theft while sitting at a fast-food restaurant, and they squirreled their backpacks in a stairwell nearby before entering the smoke shop.
The two other boys weren’t shot. Patti was struck seven times. All his wounds were to the back of his body, including one that prosecutor Frank Coumou said hit his head.
Patti’s father, Martin Patti, told reporters at a Tuesday evening memorial at a neighborhood skate park that he forgives Sunna. “God is helping me to go through this, and I wish him the same,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.