Officer Justified in Shooting Hug High Student, Says Washoe County D.A.

A Washoe County School District police officer opened fire and shot an armed student during a fight on school grounds in 2016.

Officer Justified in Shooting Hug High Student, Says Washoe County D.A.

The officer opened fire after giving several verbal commands for the student to drop the knives he was holding.

The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office released a report on Tuesday, justifying the actions of a Washoe County police officer who shot a student in Dec. 2016.

Two students, one of whom was armed with two knives, became involved in an altercation at Proctor R. Hug High School in Reno, Nev., reports NBC 4.

According to Reno Police Chief Jason Soto, the student, later identified as Logan Clark, refused to drop the weapon after receiving verbal commands from school officer Cory Coombes.

Coombes opened fire on Clark and then immediately began performing first-aid. Clark was then transported to the hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound.

At 2:39 p.m., the Reno Police Department tweeted, “Report of shots fired at Hug High School. Reno PD on scene securing the school and scene.”

The D.A.’s Office concluded that Officer Coombes’ actions were justified under Nevada Law.

District Attorney Chris Hicks released a 36-page report, which included facts of the case, photographs, witness accounts and his personal legal analysis.

According to the report, school staff and students tried to diffuse the situation, but Clark cut the other student on the face with a knife.

He continued to violently swing the knives at the student, who was shielding himself with his backpack.

Upon arrival, Officer Coombes believed Clark was going to harm or kill either the student or other students and staff who were in close proximity to the fight.

That is when he decided to fire one shot, incapacitating Clark.

Investigations of the incident were led by the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department, the Sparks Police Department and the Washoe County Crime Laboratory.

“We appreciate the diligent investigation that went into the December 7, 2016 incident at Procter Hug High School,” a statement from the Sheriff’s Department read. “Specifically, we are grateful that the findings support our own investigation into the incident, which fully exonerated School Police Officer Cory Coombes. It is clear that Officer Coombes’ brave and decisive action that day protected students and staff and prevented further injury or loss of life.”

Now 16-years-old, Clark still suffers from medical problems, reports the Reno Gazette Journal.

Clark suffered from a stroke after he was shot and his lung was removed in surgery. He is back at school, re-learning to read, write and talk.

His family does not agree with the D.A.’s decision.

“Why not use a Taser? Why not shoot him in the foot?” asked Clark’s grandmother.

The Chief District Attorney of the Juvenile Division says their office is still reviewing the case and has not made a charging decision yet. That will likely happen within the next month.

About the Author

Katie Malafronte
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Katie Malafronte is Campus Safety's Web Editor. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Katie has been CS's Web Editor since 2018.

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4 responses to “Officer Justified in Shooting Hug High Student, Says Washoe County D.A.”

  1. Dr Zachary Campbell says:

    Shooting someone in the foot is probably one of the most ignorant things I’ve read. The chances of missing are astronomically high additionally any shot on to a survive can bounce any direction, possibly woundingnor killing another student or staff member. (Had the student had a gun, this would not even be open for debate). Tazers have a limited range and are ineffective on as many as 50 percent of shots. They only work with near ideal placement of the barbs. If this student was actively endangering life, the officer acted appropriately.

  2. Play dumb games win stupid prizes says:

    amen

  3. Clint says:

    Why did Clark have two knives and cut another student on the face? Why did he not drop the knives on command? Why did he keep swinging the knives? Why must we keep adjusting our actions to people who break the law? Why must we be responsible for the actions of others and not them?

  4. Martinez says:

    Question should be, how did his family fail to correctly raise and teach him appropriate behavior? Let’s look at the root cause of the problem…. his parents and upbringing.

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