- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A wrongful death lawsuit has been dropped against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and two federal agents who shot and killed a man on a highway outside Las Vegas in 2014.

U.S. District Court records show no recent case activity before the complaint by the dead man’s mother, Tracy Meadows, was dismissed on Monday. Contact information for Meadows, who filed the lawsuit in December 2014, wasn’t immediately available.

Attorney Jacob Hafter said Friday he withdrew from the case in November. Hafter said he had no further link to Meadows and couldn’t comment.

A BLM spokesman didn’t immediately comment.

The Feb. 14, 2014, slaying of D’Andre Berghardt Jr. near Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area drew wide attention. Witness video posted online showed Berghardt, 20, trying to get into vehicles in traffic then climbing into an idling Nevada Highway Patrol vehicle before he was shot.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson cleared BLM Ranger Meagen Martin and Agent Brian Loftin last April after he said an investigation showed their actions were reasonable and legally justified.

Martin had 18 years of law enforcement experience at the time of the incident; Loftin had 10 years.

Wolfson said Berghardt could have used the highway patrol vehicle to run over an officer or endanger other people on the highway about 20 miles west of downtown Las Vegas.

A Las Vegas police detective testified Martin and Loftin feared Berghardt was reaching for an NHP weapon in the vehicle.

Witnesses said Berghardt twice shrugged off stun gun darts and was hit in the head with a baton before Martin and Loftin fired 13 shots at him. Berghardt was struck seven times.

Earlier video shows Nevada state trooper Lucas Schwarzrock, a five-year department veteran, running to aid the BLM officers while they struggled with Berghardt. Schwarzrock didn’t fire his weapon.

The lawsuit claimed the officers could have summoned medical help for Berghardt when they found him disoriented and walking with a backpack, bedroll and rolling suitcase on a paved shoulder of the two-lane highway.

Officials said Berghardt was walking in traffic and annoying passing bicyclists.

Family members said Berghardt arrived in Las Vegas by bus from Los Angeles the day before, but failed to meet a relative as expected.


This story corrects the date of the shooting: Feb. 14, 2014, not 2013.

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