By ALAN SNEL
In the end, nobody will be held accountable for the .22 caliber bullet that struck a bicyclist during a memorial bicycle ride in Las Vegas Sept. 16.
Police said there will be no arrests in the case of a 61-year-old Henderson bicyclist who was shot in the leg by a target shooter on neighboring BLM land during the 3 Feet for Pete memorial and safety bicycle ride along Las Vegas Boulevard last month.
Las Vegas Metro Police Department investigators determined there was no malicious intent by the practice shooters on the Bureau of Land Management land to hurt anyone. In fact, police could not even identify the person who shot bicyclist John Mroz, a teacher from Henderson.
There were several groups of shooters in the open BLM land popular for target practice near Las Vegas Boulevard so it was not possible to determine who actually shot Mroz at mile marker 14 during the annual bicycle ride, a Metro public information officer told LVSportsBiz.com reporter today.
“Nobody was taken onto custody. There was no malicious intent. They were out there practicing,” said Aden Ocampogomez, a Metro public information officer.
“There were multiple groups and they don’t know from which one the round came from,” Ocampogomez said. “They can’t prove the intent.”
Eyewitness bicyclist Robin Brown, a Clark County fire and rescue captain and a 35-year EMT, was cycling behind Mroz that early Saturday September morning and heard 6 to 12 shots whizzing by the bicyclists in the ride. The cyclists were riding to remember fallen bicyclist Pete Makowski, who was 33 when killed by a gravel truck while he was on a training ride on the road in Sloan in June 2013.
Brown said Mroz received a gunshot wound from the .22 caliber bullet that entered his calf. The bullet lodged near Mroz’s knee and is still there.
“They didn’t understand the range of their guns,” Brown said today. “You have to pay attention to who is down range. A .22 caliber bullet shot can go quite a ways.”
Police did not issue any information about the shooting to the public at the time because there was no other media besides LVSportsBiz.com asking for the report, Ocampogomez said. For the record, the shooting report number is 170916001145.
Police and officials with the Nevada Highway Patrol and Bureau of Land Management declined to comment for this story.
It was a non-life threatening injury for Mroz. But the teacher was forced to miss classes from being shot.
Ocampogomez said said there are other places to use firearms.
“They don’t have to go out to the desert when it comes to shooting. There are longer ranges where you can use a firearm in a safe manner,” Ocampogomez said.
Brown, the fire department captain, said the BLM should move the shooting area further east, further away from Las Vegas Boulevard and install signs explaining that shooters need to understand their responsibility in firing guns.
“If you go out on a Saturday morning, you’ll be amazed how many people are out there shooting,” Brown said.
“The people were not intending to hurt anyone, but they are lucky they didn’t kill anyone,” Brown said. “Somebody being stupid caused (the bicyclist) harm.”
Brown noted the BLM does not allow people to discharge firearms on the other side of the mountain in that area.
Ocampogomez said people need to be safe with firearms and keep in mind the safety of others.
Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com