Prosecutor tells Vegas jury a 'miracle' prevented death in 'Thunder From Down Under' shooting

The Associated Press

FILE - In this March 24, 2014, file photo, Joey Kadmiri consults with his lawyer Carl Arnold at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas Township Justice Court. Jury selection has begun for the trial of a 24-year-old man accused of firing a gun as he tried to make off with costumes and props used by Thunder From Down Under male performers on the Las Vegas Strip. Prosecutors on Monday, July 7, 2014, dropped eight charges against Joey Kadmiri, including attempted murder, armed robbery and several robbery with use of a weapon counts. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Sun, L.E. Baskow, File)

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By KEN RITTER, Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A prosecutor called it a miracle Tuesday that no one was killed when a man on methamphetamine fired a shot with a .44-caliber handgun during a struggle with several well-muscled members of the Thunder From Down Under male revue who found him backstage trying to steal show costumes and props.

One cast member wrestled Joey Kadmiri's wrist away, and the bullet narrowly missed the face of another cast member before lodging in a wall at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino with an Italian restaurant full of diners on the other side, Deputy Clark County District Attorney Nick Portz said.

One cast member suffered gunpowder burns on side of his face and still has eye and ear damage, Portz said. Another received lesser injuries, he said.

"These men don't miss the gym all that much, and it still took six men to hold him," Portz said.

Prosecutors on Monday dropped eight of 17 charges originally filed by a grand jury in the case, including attempted murder, armed robbery and several counts of robbery with a weapon.

Kadmiri still faces nine felony burglary, robbery, battery and weapon charges, which could get him decades in prison if he's convicted.

Kadmiri has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers, Joshua Tomsheck and Roy Nelson, plan to make their opening arguments later this week.

Tomsheck has said that Kadmiri had drug and mental health issues before the March 18 incident. He hasn't said if Kadmiri will testify.

Kadmiri, 24, stands 5 feet, 10 inches and weighs about 190 pounds. He received facial scrapes and bruises and had to be restrained after declaring that he was on methamphetamine and repeatedly hitting his own head on the floor of the outdoor patio during the struggle, Portz said.

Kadmiri was hospitalized overnight with a black eye and other minor injuries before he was taken to the Clark County jail.

Police later found that Kadmiri had with him a pair of surgical gloves, an open 2.1-gram plastic packet of methamphetamine and a box of bullets for the handgun perhaps most famous as the sidearm of choice for Clint Eastwood's 1971 movie character, "Dirty Harry."

"It's a miracle that no one was killed," Portz said.

Portz told jurors that they will see the handgun and hear from several employees and dancers for the Australia-themed men's stripper revue. Cast members said they found Kadmiri hanging around the dressing area and showroom several hours before the confrontation.

He was wearing a Sydney firefighters' T-shirt and identified himself as a new cast member, Portz said. Before he was confronted, Kadmiri collected hats, shoes, props and underwear from the dressing area.

"This is not a complex case," the prosecutor said. "This is not a 'whodunit.' The man who committed these acts is in this courtroom."

Kadmiri also faces criminal charges in a separate and unrelated case alleging that he kidnapped and beat a woman at gunpoint and confined her to a closet last November.

Court records show he was convicted in September 2011 of misdemeanor escape stemming from a March 2010 attempt to run while handcuffed from police arresting him on unspecified felony charges.

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