- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

LAS VEGAS (AP) - An ex-felon who was shot by an on-duty plainclothes detective during what Las Vegas police say was an attempted armed robbery in an alley is expected to recover from his wounds and face felony charges, authorities said Friday.

Thomas Lamar Cotton, 48, underwent surgery late Thursday at University Medical Center, police said. Records indicate he’ll face an initial court appearance on an assault with a weapon charge after he is released from the hospital.

Cotton showed a revolver before he was shot by a detective who was part of a surveillance team involved in an unrelated case, police Capt. John McGrath said.

The detective, whose name wasn’t immediately made public, was alone and getting out of his vehicle when two men tried to rob him, McGrath said.

“The officer identified himself as a police officer and the suspect raised his weapon at the officer who shot at the suspects,” McGrath said.

The second man ran away and was being sought, Officer Michael Rodriguez said.

Cotton has convictions in forgery, stolen vehicle and drug cases, records show. He has served several stints in Nevada state prison.

The detective was placed on paid leave pending departmental and district attorney reviews.

Las Vegas police were involved in 10 shootings in 2016, including seven that left a person dead.

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