Update: 6/9/2014, 2p.m. Gawker and the Las Vegas Review-Journal have identified the shooters as married couple, Jerad and Amanda Miller (pictured above). You can read more about the self-proclaimed Patriots and their militant beliefs here and read more about their alleged plans to attack a courthouse and execute public officials. Or you can check them out on Facebook.
It all began at a CiCi’s Pizza, where two Las Vegas police officers were just trying to have lunch. Officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo were ambushed while they ate. A man and woman reportedly walked into the pizzeria and shot the officers. According to at least one report, it looked as though the woman shot one of the officers in the head as he was refilling his soda. She then reportedly turned and shot the other officer. The other officer was able to return fire, but there are no reports of him hitting anyone. The shooters reportedly announced “This is the start of a revolution” before they began shooting, however the sheriff’s office was not able to confirm.
In a troubling detail, the Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting from unnamed law enforcement sources that, after stripping the officers of their weapons, ammunition, and badges, the shooters covered the officers in a cloth that prominently featured the Gadsden flag. The Gadsden flag is the yellow flag with the coiled snake that has “Don’t Tread On Me” prominently across the bottom.
When the shooters left the pizzeria, they proceeded to the Walmart that was just across the parking lot. There, they reportedly shot and killed one woman just inside the front door to the store. There is an unconfirmed report that a private citizen with a concealed weapon exchanged fire with the shooters as they made their way to the Walmart, and may have shot one of them.
Police entered the store from both the front and rear entrances, and exchanged some gunfire with the couple before the woman reportedly shot her companion, and then shot herself in the head. The shooters had brought duffle bags into the store with them, and the bomb squad was called in to handle those. There is no word at this time on what might have been in the bags.
The investigation into the couple has turned up some very troubling details. While police were searching the shooters’ apartment in the Las Vegas Valley, police reportedly found some links to white supremacist movements and several swastikas. Neighbors mentioned that they talked about killing police officers, and even wanting to commit “the next Columbine”. One neighbor stated that the male suspect had claimed to have been kicked off of Cliven Bundy’s ranch 80 miles north of Las Vegas during the recent protests against the Bureau of Land Management.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal brings us the press conference by Sheriff Doug Gillespie of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department,
Shooters in Metro ambush that left five dead spoke of white supremacy and a desire to kill police (The Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Neighbors: Couple suspected in Las Vegas killing spree vowed to commit ‘next Columbine’ (The Las Vegas Sun)
Five people, including two police, dead in Las Vegas ambush shooting (Reuters)