U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Officer German Rodriguez

Reno Police Department, Nevada

On October 16, 2013, Reno Police in Nevada responded to a Bank of America report of an armed robbery in which a victim was shot. The investigation revealed that a lone suspect entered the bank and demanded money from various tellers. During the robbery, an 80-year-old bank customer attempted to intervene and argued with the robber. The suspect then fatally shot the customer in the chest and fled from the area.

Off-duty and unarmed Reno Police Officer German Rodriguez, who was a customer in the bank when the shooting occurred, followed the suspect from the bank while calling 911. The suspect walked to a nearby bus depot where he attempted to board several idling busses. Unsuccessful, the suspect sat on a bench and waited for the busses to go into service.

Officer Rodriguez was concerned that the suspect might get away before on-duty officers arrived, or that the situation could escalate into a hostage or officer-involved shooting incident, so he decided to take action.

Officer Rodriguez approached the suspect from behind, placed his arm around the suspect’s neck in a “carotid hold,” and took him to the ground. Once on the ground, Officer Rodriguez disarmed the suspect by reaching into the suspect’s pocket and removing his gun. Officer Rodriguez continued to hold down the suspect until responding officers arrived a short time later and took him into custody. The suspect was charged with armed robbery.

Press Releases

Two people standing together at the Badge of Bravery awards ceremony and smiling at the camera
Officer German Rodriguez and US Senator Dean Heller of Nevada