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No charges expected in fatal police shooting of man stabbing wife

The Clark County district attorney’s office has made a preliminary decision not to charge any of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of a man who was stabbing his wife during a panic attack last September.

Seth Holliday, 40, died standing inside his front door on Sept. 6, 2020, after he was shot in the chest by Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Douglas King.

Holliday used eight different knives to stab his wife in the minutes before police arrived at the couple’s home on Timber Willow Avenue, police said.

At a public fact-finding review Tuesday, Metro Detective Scott Mendoza, the lead investigator assigned to this shooting, laid out a detailed timeline of the 27 hours that led to Holliday’s death. Mendoza said that Holliday’s wife, Haley Holliday, called the police Sept. 5 to report her husband was making suicidal statements. He was taken to Summerlin Hospital and placed on a psychiatric hold.

At 3 p.m. Sept. 6, a psychiatrist met with Haley Holliday, scheduled a follow-up appointment and sent the couple home with a new prescription. Just before 9 p.m., Haley Holliday texted the doctor that her husband was “acting strangely,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza played the 911 call Haley Holliday placed at 9:11 p.m. where she screamed “no,” “stop it” and “he’s trying to kill me” while her husband stabbed her. Haley Holliday later told police she feared going outside, as the dispatcher advised, because their 8-year-old son was upstairs.

Several videos were played at the hearing, including the moment that Seth Holliday held a knife up from inside a screen door and told King, “shoot me.”

In a statement to the Review-Journal, Haley Holliday said her husband was failed by doctors who medicated him incorrectly and prescribed Xanax if needed, not considering his current medication. He began having suicidal thoughts exactly two weeks after starting a new prescription.

“Neither myself nor Seth were given any resources upon his release in relation to his current state of mind,” Haley Holliday wrote. “Nor were we offered any information on warning signs or ways to prevent this from happening.”

Haley Holliday said without the officer’s intervention, she and her son would not be alive. She suffered stab wounds to her back, chest and both hands.

None of the officers involved in the shooting faced disciplinary action within the department, Mendoza said. The district attorney’s office holds a public fact-finding review after all police killings when officers are not expected to face charges. A formal decision is made in each killing about two weeks after each fact-finding review.

King, 36, declined to give a statement in the days after the shooting, Mendoza said. He is scheduled to receive a Metro medal of honor posthumously in November for his actions. King died Aug. 23 from complications due to COVID-19.

The first officer on the scene, Officer Jacob Adams, was awarded employee of the quarter in Summerlin for his work during the deadly event. Adams’ body camera showed him pulling twice on the front door, attempting to get to the woman heard screaming inside. Within a minute, Adams called for help on the radio while he jumped over two fences and pulled on the back door, only to find it locked.

Adams’ supervisor, Lt. Jeff Goodwin presented the award while noting that domestic violence calls are among the deadliest situations for officers and residents.

“Your presence in this incident undoubtedly helped save the victim’s life,” Goodwin said.

Haley Holliday called her husband a loving and involved dad who had a great laugh. She said the couple would have celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary this summer.

“Numerous people did their jobs professionally and admirably,” she said. “The health system did not.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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