Visalia CHP Officer Killed In Las Vegas Carjacking - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Visalia CHP Officer Killed In Las Vegas Carjacking

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A carjacking and crash near the Las Vegas strip over the weekend has killed a California Highway Patrol officer based out of Visalia.

Las Vegas Police say two guests were loading their truck in the valet area of the Flamingo Hotel, around 11 a.m. on Sunday, when a man jumped into the driver's side and sped off.

That's when police say the two guests, identified by family members as Jesus Magdaleno and his Brother-in-law Brandon Cruz, jumped into the bed of the truck.

The driver sped through red lights, and ended up crashing into a car, about two miles away, in front of the Rio Hotel. That's when Magdaleno and Cruz were thrown from the bed of the truck.

Magdaleno died on the street.

Cruz was taken to a hospital, in very serious condition.

The driver, and three people in the other car, were also hurt and were taken to local hospitals. They have since been released.

An arrest report released Monday, said the suspect, 29-year-old James Robert Montgomery, of Tustin, Calif., was booked into Clark County Detention Center on a murder charge, as well as two counts of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of robbery, battery and grand larceny auto.

Rio Hotel guest Eric Whitfield watched the crash from his hotel room.

"I would have let them take the car, I wouldn't have pursued him," Whitfield said. "But he's a cop so he was trying to do his job."

Police officers gave Officer Magdaleno a final salute, after they finished processing the scene.

KMPH News has learned Magdaleno had been a California Highway Patrol officer for eight years.

He had been based out of Visalia since 2010.

Fox Affiliate KVVU contributed to this story.

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