In a shooting rampage that left five people dead, two suspects killed two Las Vegas police officers on Sunday at a pizza restaurant and fatally shot a third person at a nearby Walmart before dying in a suicide pact, the authorities said.
The shooters, one male and one female, ambushed the two police officers as they were eating lunch at a CiCi’s Pizza restaurant around 11:20 a.m. Las Vegas time, Sheriff Douglas Gillespie said at a news conference on Sunday afternoon.
The sheriff identified the officers as Alyn Beck, 42, and Igor Soldo, 32. He said one of them fired back at the attackers, but it was unclear whether he struck one of them.
The suspects took the officers’ weapons and ammunition before they fled across the street to a Walmart store in the same plaza. There they fatally shot one other person inside the entrance, Gillespie said. Other officers responding to the shooting call confronted the man and the woman and exchanged gunfire with the suspects, and then they heard several shots.
The female suspect is believed to have shot the male suspect before taking her own life, Gillespie said. He added investigators believe the couple had a suicide pact.
Some bystanders reported that the couple had shouted, “This is a revolution” while firing on the officers at the pizza restaurant. But Gillespie said that he could not confirm that.
The CiCi’s Pizza restaurant is about 9 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. The restaurant and the Walmart are in a shopping plaza that was bustling with activity on Sunday morning.
Police officers and deputies who gathered outside the restaurant where Beck and Soldo were attacked stood in small clusters, many of them hugging each other. Some officers wept.
“We have lost two officers with young families and a family of law enforcement who cares very much about them,” Gillespie said at the news conference. “What precipitated this incident we do not know. My officers were simply having lunch when the shooting started.”
“It’s a tragic day,” Gillespie said. “It’s a very difficult day.”
The victim shot inside the Walmart has not been identified, he said. He did not identify the assailants.
Pauline Pacheco, a shopper in Walmart, said in an interview with a Las Vegas television station, KLAS, that she saw the armed man enter the store and she grabbed her father so they could escape.
“We saw when the man was walking, he was shouting, yelling bad words, and suddenly he had a gun,” Pacheco said. “It was terrible, it was terrible. That man was crazy.”
Walmart released a statement on Sunday afternoon saying, “We express our deepest condolences to everyone who has been affected by this senseless act of violence. Our store is currently closed. This is still an active investigation and we are working with local police.”
After the shooting, shoppers emptied out and businesses closed as police sectioned off the scene. About a block and a half of Nellis Boulevard, one of the main roads in Las Vegas, was closed to traffic as cones and yellow tape sealed its entrances from north of Stewart Avenue and south at Charleston Boulevard.
Only police officers and witnesses remained at the scene on Sunday evening. About a dozen police cars and a few ambulances sat in the parking lot of the Walmart. The sheriff said that officers who had been patrolling the area alone had been instructed to partner with colleagues while the police investigated the case.
“It’s a difficult day, but we still have a community to police and a community to protect,” he said. “We’re going out there with our heads held high but an emptiness in our hearts.”
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