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California cop killed in Las Vegas carjacking, crash

Aug. 19, 2013 at 4:31 PM   |   Comments

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A tourist killed in an alleged carjacking at a Las Vegas casino was identified Monday as an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer.

Officer Jesus Magdaleno, 33, of Visalia was killed when he was thrown from the bed of a pickup truck that was allegedly carjacked at the Flamingo Hotel Sunday and collided with another vehicle.

Magdaleno and friend Victor Cruz were loading luggage into Magdaleno's truck at the hotel's valet parking lot when suspect James Montgomery, 29, jumped behind the wheel and drove off with Cruz in the bed.

Magdaleno gave chase on foot and was able to climb into the back end of the truck while identifying himself as a police officer.

Witnesses told KLAS-TV in Las Vegas the truck sped off on busy Flamingo Road and ran multiple red lights before slamming into another vehicle at an intersection. Magdaleno and Cruz were thrown from the truck. Magdaleno was pronounced dead at the scene and Cruz was rushed to a hospital in critical condition.

Montgomery was also injured and told Metro police he did not recall taking Magdaleno's truck, KLAS said. He was charged with murder, kidnapping, robbery and auto theft.

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