Two Las Vegas police officers were killed in a ambush Sunday by a man and a woman who later killed a third person before turning weapons on themselves in a Walmart.
The armed man and woman shouted about a “revolution” before opening fire and killing the two uniformed patrol officers, Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, who were eating lunch in a CiCi’s pizza parlor, police said on Sunday.
The shooters covered the officer who died at the scene in the flag, a historical symbol of defiance in the wake of what is viewed as an oppressive government, before darting out.
The attackers then ran across the parking lot to a nearby Walmart store, and the Review-Journal said they exchanged gunfire with and ultimately killed a civilian who was carrying a concealed weapon.
The civilian, who has not yet been identified, was found dead inside the front door. Moments later, the female suspect shot her accomplice to death, then took her own life, Gillespie told reporters on Sunday.
“It’s a tragic day,” Sheriff Doug Gillespie of the Las Vegas Metro Police Department said at a news conference Sunday afternoon. “But we still have a community to police, and we still have a community to protect. We will be out there doing it with our heads held high, but with an emptiness in our hearts.”
According to the police, both officers were pronounced dead at University Medical Center. Beck had been with the department since 2001 and leaves behind a wife and three children. Soldo had been with the force since 2006 and is survived by a wife and baby.
The suspects, identified as Jerad Miller, 31, and his 22-year-old wife, Amanda, had talked about overthrowing Obama and the government before their killing spree, and the husband even dressed up as the Batman villain the Joker or the fictional torturer, Slender Man, neighbors said.
The two expressed support in social media for renegade Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, and the husband claimed to have been present at the standoff between federal agents and militia members at Bundy’s ranch in April, police said.
Pauline Pacheco was shopping at Wal-Mart when she saw the armed man and grabbed her father to escape, KLAS-TV reported.
“We saw when the man was walking, he was shouting, yelling bad words, and suddenly he had a gun,” she told the station. “It was terrible, it was terrible. That man was crazy.”
Meanwhile, Las Vegas police will be doubling up in patrol cars for at least the next few days as officers mourn the loss of two colleagues, says CNN.
“We still have a community to police and we still have a community to protect,” Gillespie said Sunday night. “We will be out there doing it with our heads held high but with an emptiness in our heart.”
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said: “I am devastated by the news today of two officers and an innocent bystander who were murdered in an act of senseless violence. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.”