Police Taser Probe Triggered Nevada Cop To Accidentally Shoot ‘Erratic’ Suspect, Investigators Find

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John Oyewale Contributor
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A police officer who shot a suspect in northwestern Nevada in 2020 will not face charges as a fellow officer’s taser probe struck the officer and triggered the inadvertent shooting, according to a prosecutor’s report.

Reno Police Officer Richard Jager shot Christopher Sheahan during a Jul. 26, 2020, road traffic incident as a taser probe fired by Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy George Cholico missed Sheahan and struck Officer Jager, a May 24 report by Washoe County District Attorney Christopher Hicks revealed.

“The Taser probe embedded in Officer Jager’s left knee, causing him to flinch and inadvertently fire a single shot from his firearm,” the report read in part.

The Sparks Police Department—which was leading the multi-organ investigation—submitted its report and supporting evidence to Hicks and requested no criminal charges for Officer Jager, the report stated. (RELATED: Police Officer Shot Dead By Teen Over Suspicious Vehicle Stop, Police Say)

Sheahan sped up toward fellow motorist Shannon Segerer at an intersection, narrowly missing her as she swerved to avoid him—after he had initially waved her ahead of him, according to the report. He then stopped his vehicle, obstructing traffic, and signaled again to Segerer. Deputy Cholico, who was in traffic at the time, trailed Sheahan as he left, and instructed Sheahan to remain in his car. “Sheahan told Deputy Cholico that he had some mental issues and continued to disobey the officer’s commands to stay in the car,” the report stated.

Deputy Cholico requested backup and kept ordering Sheahan to get and stay on the ground. Sheahan would comply only briefly but then would resume pacing, sometimes toward the officer. Sheahan tried to build rapport with the officer. He also partly stripped himself of his clothing to demonstrate that he had no weapons on him despite Deputy Cholico’s request for him to stop stripping himself. His “erratic behavior” continued even after backup arrived, leading Deputy Cholico to tase Sheahan, according to the report. However, one of the probes struck Jager, accidentally triggering the shooting, according to the report. Sheahan, struck on his right shoulder, was then arrested.

Sheahan survived the shooting. He and his attorneys made an ultimately unsuccessful plea of insanity in court. He was found guilty of Resisting a Public Officer but not of reckless driving. He was sentenced to one day in the Washoe County Detention Facility, according to the report.

Officer Jager, injured by the Taser probe, was treated in a hospital, where the probe reportedly was removed with some difficulty.

Sheahan admitted to investigators while in hospital that he refused to comply with Deputy Cholico’s commands, according to the report. He wanted to show the officers that he had no weapon on him by emptying his pocket.

“I should have just listened to the officer’s orders and not gotten out of my car and freaked out like I did,” Sheahan reportedly said. “I’m sorry that I didn’t listen,” he apologized, adding, “I didn’t mean to be insubordinate.”

Sheahan also thanked the officers for saving his life.