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Detective testifies about undercover operation interrupted by attempted mugging

The local man accused of trying to rob an undercover officer with a fake gun, who was then shot in the buttocks, appeared in court today.

Detective Daniel Hawkins, the undercover officer who shot Thomas Cotton, testified about what happened the night of the incident. He is an 11-year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Cotton remains in police custody sitting in a wheelchair, recovering from his injuries following the shooting.

RELATED | LVMPD discusses officer-involved shooting, says ex-con tried to rob the wrong person

Hawkins said Cotton approached him as he was working undercover setting up surveillance for an unrelated suspect in an alley near Jones and Washington.

According to the police report, the detective identified himself when Cotton tried to mug him and pulled out what is now known as a fake gun. Hawkins said when he pulled out a real gun, Cotton pulled up the fake gun and that's when he says he shot the defendant.

RELATED | Police say man who tried to rob plainclothes officer was an ex-felon

The detective also says he discovered Cotton was armed with a large knife when he placed him into handcuffs following the shooting.

During cross-examination, Hawkins says he feared for his life when he saw Cotton’s weapon.

Cotton will be back in court on Friday.

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