Man shot motorist in head on I-15 during chase of stolen pickup, police say

Marcos Enriquez. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

A North Las Vegas man has been charged with multiple felonies after authorities say he shot a suspected vehicle thief in the head on Interstate 15 Friday near the Spaghetti Bowl in a crime that snarled traffic for hours.

Marcos Enriquez, 30, was booked at the Clark County Detention Center Saturday on charges of attempted murder, battery, and four counts of discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle.

Las Vegas police said in an arrest report for Enriquez that Enriquez’s roommate reported his GMC Sierra pickup truck stolen from his Las Vegas Valley home Friday morning. The roommate had a tracking device on the pickup, police said, allowing him and Enriquez to track the pickup to the Las Vegas Strip Friday afternoon as Enriquez drove a maroon Nissan Sentra.

The pair, police said, followed the pickup onto the I-15 northbound lanes, where Enriquez and his rommmate repeatedly tried to get the man driving the pickup to pull over. Enriquez’s roommate told police Enriquez then yelled the pickup driver “had a gun” before opening fire on the pickup.

Police said both drivers pulled over to the shoulder on I-15 where Enriquez emerged from the Nissan and continued to fire gunshots at the pickup driver, who then drove away and exited the interstate at D Street. The pair chased after the driver of the pickup again and found him near an off-ramp. There, they pulled the truck driver from the vehicle and the roommate struck the pickup driver twice.

Enriquez then took off in the Nissan as the roommate called 911, police said.

The driver of the pickup was later found walking in the area of D Street and Bonanza Road suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. The man survived but police were unable to conduct a full interview with him.

“(He) sustained one gunshot wound to his right temple which caused damage to his right eye,” police said. “He sustained a right orbital fracture and a mild cerebral hemorrhage. (He) went into emergency optical surgery, and it is unknown if he will lose his eyesight in his right eye.”

Police said they recovered six cartridge casings along the northbound interstate. They located another scene with blood and broken glass at a different location on the interstate. Enriquez turned himself in the next morning.

Police said he repeatedly apologized before invoking his right to a lawyer. A search of his vehicle, police said, turned up a 9 mm handgun.

Clark County prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Enriquez in Las Vegas Justice Court on Tuesday. He remained in custody as of Tuesday afternoon.

The shooting comes as Las Vegas police have reported a significant increase in stolen vehicles in their jurisdiction in both 2021 and 2022. In 2021, the number of stolen vehicles reported to police jumped by nearly 22 percent, to 8,723 from 7,168 the previous year. As of the second week of March, Metro had a 12 percent increase in stolen vehicle reports compared with the same time last year.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.