Las Vegas police said Monday that the two suspects in the shooting deaths of two officers had ideology that was along the lines of “militia and white supremacists.”
A search of the shooters’ apartment turned up swastikas and other paraphernalia that had police saying they were part of a white supremacy movement, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Police are also looking into whether Jerad Miller and his wife, Amanda, had been at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch during a standoff with government agents earlier this year.
Bundy, who rejects the authority of the federal government, got into a high-profile showdown with US officials who say he owes more than $1 million in fees and penalties for grazing his cattle on government land. Hundreds of supporters, some of them armed, went to the ranch to support Bundy.
Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill said the two suspects believed that law enforcement was the “oppressor.”
McMahill said the shootings were an isolated act and officers were still looking for a motive.
The two officers were having lunch at a strip mall pizza buffet when the Millers fatally shot them at point-blank range in an ambush. The suspects then fled to a nearby Wal-Mart, where they killed a third person and then themselves in an apparent suicide pact, authorities said.
Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill said Monday that 31-year-old Joseph Wilcox of Las Vegas was in the checkout line at Wal-Mart when he saw Jerad Miller fire a shot and went to confront him.
Miller’s wife, Amanda, pulled out a gun and shot Wilcox in the rib area. He collapsed and died.
McMahill says Wilcox wasn’t able to fire any shots.
Police say the Millers exchanged gunfire with officers inside the Wal-Mart before Amanda Miller shot her husband and then herself.
The attack at a CiCi’s Pizza restaurant killed Officers Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, who are both husbands and fathers. Jerad Miller yelled, “This is a revolution!” McMahill said.
McMahill said at a news conference Monday that both suspects fired multiple shots into Beck. They then placed a note, a yellow “Don’t tread on me” flag and a swastika on the officers’ bodies.
The deadly rampage in the aging shopping center about 5 miles (8 kilometers) northeast of the Las Vegas Strip took place in a matter of minutes.
Police were called at 11:22 a.m. to the pizzeria. Shots were reported five minutes later at a nearby Wal-Mart, where the shooters gunned down 31-year-old Joseph Wilcox of Las Vegas just inside the front door and exchanged gunfire with police before killing themselves, authorities and the Clark County coroner’s office said.
The Anti-Defamation League condemned the attack on Monday.
“The two police officers who lost their lives are only the latest in a series of casualties in a de facto war being waged against police by right-wing extremists, including both anti-government extremists and white supremacists,” said Mark Pitcavage, ADL director of investigative research, in a press release.
“Some extremists have deliberately targeted police, while others have responded violently when meeting police in unplanned encounters. The killings are not the effort of a concerted campaign, but rather a series of independent attacks and clashes stemming from right-wing ideologies,” he said.
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