Turns out the documents presented by the Sparks Police were misleading, and Monica Ritchey did not shoot her daughter, Darcie Latham. Sparks Police did.
Who shot Darcie Latham?
Readers may recall this quote from our Feb. 27 story, “Who watches the watchers?”
“I heard a gunshot, and I saw my sister [Darcie Latham] fall, and I thought, ‘Oh my god, she just killed her,’” [Brittnie Andrews] said. “And then the cops started to walk forward, and I heard shots. They were shooting my mom. Then I heard, ‘Keep your guns on her,’ and I realized there was a second set of cops on the other side of my mom. … After they had shot my mom, I heard them saying, ‘Keep the guns on her, her hand’s moving.’”
The story continued on to talk about how the media handled the story.
“It was a crime scene of the sort that makes news producers and editors drool—police and perps with guns blazing, a family in distress, blood in the street and sudden death in quiet suburbia. The only problem was that the local news media was asleep at the press, and apparently nobody—not the newspapers, not the television news stations, not the radio stations, not the all-seeing internet—got this story right.”
Well, guess what? Neither did we. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. A message was left on Sparks Police Chief Brian Allen’s voicemail on Feb. 21, six days before the story was published, but it was not returned. The Sparks Police Department also released a report on the matter that did not include any mention of the possibility that somebody besides Monica Ritchey shot the 25-year-old Latham. That doesn’t prove an intent to deceive, as other investigative agencies take over investigations of officer-involved shootings, and documents were still being added to the file four days after the Oct. 13 shooting, but it certainly speaks to the reliability of witnesses. There were further public documents (press releases) requested of the Sparks PD on Feb. 26 that may contain explanatory information, but they have not been produced.