KINGMAN – Questions are many, but answers are few in the matter of a police-gunfire-wounded Kingman man who was not charged for nearly two weeks and was somehow able to exit Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas and make it back to Kingman, only to suffer medical complications to be returned to Sunrise.
It is unclear how many hours or days that the wounded man was uncharged and in the wind between hospital admissions and discharges between Kingman and Las Vegas.
The story began Dec. 29 when Kingman police officers reportedly encountered a shotgun-brandishing Andrew Romero after responding to a domestic violence incident reported at a home in the 1700 block of Golden Gate Ave. Deputy Kingman Police Chief Joel Freed said Romero, 39, was wounded by police gunfire after ignoring officer commands to drop the weapon.
The wounded Romero reportedly was transported to Kingman Regional Medical Center and flown to Sunrise in Las Vegas. Lake Havasu City police began an independent investigation, a common practice where an outside agency conducts an independent review of a shooting involving personnel with another department.
Lake Havasu police issued a Jan. 10 news release indicating nine-year KPD veteran sergeant Kenneth Morris was the officer involved in the Romero shooting and that he is on routine paid administrative leave while the matter is under review. But neither the Kingman nor Lake Havasu City Police Department can account for Romero’s whereabouts after his initial hospitalization in Nevada.
Lake Havasu City Public Information Officer Anthony Kozlowski said he had no information and Detective Chris Angus said the same when first contacted Tuesday morning. That changed by Wednesday morning.
“I did manage to get in contact with the Detective handling the OIS (officer-involved shooting) and he was aware of Mr. Romero leaving the hospital initially, but they do not have answers to why he left,” Angus said in an email. “They are also aware that he was re-admitted.”
Kingman Police Chief Rusty Cooper said his agency is also aware that Romero somehow exited the Nevada hospital, returned to Kingman and ended up back in Las Vegas.
Allen Poston, Vice President of Public Relations for Kingman Regional Medical Center, said privacy law prohibits him from indicating if or when Romero was admitted to KRMC, and whether it occurred once or twice since Christmas. Admission and discharge information could not be ascertained from Sunrise as its public information officer did not respond to press inquiry at all.
Romero wasn’t charged until Thursday. Deputy Mohave County Attorney Bob Moon confirmed charges were lodged in Kingman Justice Court but he was unable to provide further information because Romero had not yet been served or notified.