The man and woman said to have shot and killed two police officers and a third person in Las Vegas Sunday bragged that they had been involved in the recent standoff with the federal government at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch, neighbors of the pair have told local Nevada papers. And early reports suggest the couple may have been motivated by anti-government extremism.
The couple shot two Las Vegas police officers who were eating lunch at a pizza restaurant, then minutes later killed a third person at a nearby Wal-Mart. The woman then killed the man before turning the gun on herself, in what police have said was an apparent suicide pact.
A law enforcement source with knowledge of the situation told NBC the suspects were Jerad Miller and Amanda Miller. The two slain officers have been identified by police as Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31. The Clark County Coroner’s Office identified the person killed at the Wal-Mart as Joseph Robert Wilcox, 31.
“What precipitated this event we do not know,” Sheriff Doug Gillespie said at a press conference Sunday. But in news reports, a preliminary picture of the shooters as radical anti-government extremists has begun to emerge.
The Las Vegas Sun reported that residents of the apartment building where the Millers lived said they “had a reputation for spouting racist, anti-government views, bragging about their gun collection, and boasting that they’d spent time at Cliven Bundy’s ranch during a recent standoff there between armed militia members and federal government agents.”
Sue Hale, a neighbor of the Millers, told the paper that the two had bragged to her that they were at Bundy’s ranch. And a second neighbor, Brandon Monroe, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that the male member of the couple said that he had been kicked off the ranch.
The Sun also reported that according to a police officer and a witness, one of the shooters shouted “This is a revolution,” and “We are freedom fighters.”
The Review-Journal reported that the couple draped the slain officers with the Gadsden Flag—the yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag that has been used as a symbol of anti-government sentiment both by far-right extremist groups and by the tea party. The paper also reported that police found swastika symbols during their initial search of the Miller’s apartment.
A post on the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks right-wing extremism, rounds up the Millers’ apparent ties to the far-right “Patriot” and militia movements.