Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

June 10, 2014

Police: Vegas cop killers had anti-government view

LAS VEGAS — A husband and wife who went on a deadly shooting rampage in Las Vegas harbored anti-government beliefs and left a swastika and a “Don’t tread on me” flag on the body of one of the two police officers they killed, authorities said Monday.

Jerad and Amanda Miller had been kicked off a Nevada ranch where anti-government protesters faced down federal agents earlier this year because they were “very radical,” according to the son of rancher Cliven Bundy.

Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill said the Millers had ideology shared by “militia and white supremacists,” including the belief that law enforcement was the “oppressor.”

Police believe the shootings were an isolated act, not part of a broader conspiracy to target law enforcement, McMahill said.

Ammon Bundy, one of Cliven Bundy’s sons, said by telephone that the Millers were at his father’s ranch for a few days this spring before they were asked to leave by militia members for unspecified “conduct” problems. He called the couple “very radical” and said they “did not align themselves” with the beliefs of other protesters, who thwarted a roundup of Cliven Bundy’s cattle by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which wants to collect more than $1 million in grazing fees and penalties.

While thousands of people have been to the site over the last couple of months, “Not very many people were asked to leave. I think they may have been the only ones,” Ammon Bundy said.

On Sunday, the two Las Vegas police officers were having lunch at a pizza buffet in an aging strip mall about 5 miles northeast of the Las Vegas Strip when the Millers fatally shot them. The attack at a CiCi’s Pizza killed officers Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, both of whom were husbands and fathers.

According to McMahill, this is how Sunday’s events unfolded:

The Millers left a neighbor’s apartment where they had been staying around 4:30 p.m. and walked to the strip mall, about five miles away.

Jerad Miller went briefly into the restaurant, then left and got his wife, leaving their backpacks outside.

The two officers were sitting in a booth. Jerad Miller fatally shot Soldo in the back of his head. As his partner tried to react, Miller shot him once in the throat. Amanda Miller then pulled her own gun and both shot Beck several times.

Police believe that while the Millers wanted to target police, the choice of Soldo and Beck was random.

Pulling the mortally wounded officers from the booth, they took their guns and ammunition and put a yellow Gadsden flag featuring the phrase “Don’t tread on me” and a swastika on Beck’s body. The flag, with its roots in the American Revolution, is a symbol for anti-government groups. Police said they believe the swastika was intended to paint police as Nazis, not necessarily an expression of the Millers’ own white supremacist views.

The couple also told restaurant patrons that their act was “the beginning of the revolution,” the same message as a note they left at the restaurant. That was what the Millers told customers at a Wal-Mart about a block away, where the couple fled. Jerad Miller fired one round and “told the people to get out and this was a revolution and that the police were on the way.”

In the frenzy, shopper Joseph Wilcox told friends he was going to confront Jerad Miller — not realizing that Amanda Miller was his accomplice. Wilcox went from the checkout area to Miller and pulled his concealed firearm. But before he could fire, Amanda Miller shot him in the ribs and Wilcox collapsed.

“Joseph died trying to protect others,” Sheriff Doug Gillespie said.

By now, police had arrived, and two five-officer teams entered the massive store. Near the back, one team confronted the Millers, and exchanged fire. At one point, Jerad Miller tried to blast a rear emergency exit door open with a shotgun, but police had blocked it with a car and he could not escape.

One officer went with store security to screens showing feeds from surveillance cameras and saw that Jerad Miller had built a makeshift barricade around his wife.

As police closed in, Amanda Miller shot her husband several times with a handgun, killing him. She then shot herself in the head. When officers arrived, she was still breathing, and was taken to the hospital. She later died.

The Millers moved to the Las Vegas area in January, police said. Amanda Miller had worked at a Hobby Lobby craft store there until she was fired in April, the chain store said in a written statement.

Jerad Miller, 31, was convicted of felony vehicle theft in Washington state, and several other offenses, including phone harassment, driving under the influence, theft and malicious mischief, between 2001 and 2003, according to a Washington State Patrol database.

He also had a criminal record in Indiana.

Miller attended Kennewick High School in Washington state for one semester in 1999, his freshman year, district spokeswoman Robyn Chastain said Monday. The district had no other record of him attending schools in the district, or of what he did when he left the school.

He and his 22-year-old wife were married in August 2012, according to a marriage license on file in Indiana.

On Monday, Sheriff Gillespie acknowledged that his force was on edge.

Asked about worries that more officers may be targeted, he responded: “Is that weighing? Sure, there’s no doubt about it.”

1
Text Only
Top News
  • blood drive.jpg Give Blood

    Give Blood

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man arrested in Valdosta drug raid

    Man arrested in Valdosta drug raid

    August 1, 2014

  • Taiwan Gas Explosions_Stew.jpg Gas explosions in Taiwan

    At least 24 people were killed and 271 others injured when several underground gas explosions ripped through Taiwan’s second-largest city overnight, hurling concrete through the air and blasting long trenches in the streets, authorities said Friday.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Immigration Overload_Roge.jpg Immigration courts speed up children’s cases

    Immigration courts are speeding up hearings for the tens of thousands of Central American children caught on the U.S. border after criticism that the backlogged system is letting immigrants stay in the country for years while waiting for their cases to be heard.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Extra jurors seated for long Ga. salmonella trial

    After three days of jury selection, a panel with plenty of extra members was seated Thursday to hear the case of three people charged in connection with a deadly salmonella outbreak traced to a southwest Georgia peanut plant five years ago.

    August 1, 2014

  • Liberia West Africa E_Roge.jpg Ebola outbreak tops 700 deaths

    The death toll from the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 in West Africa as security forces went house-to-house in Sierra Leone’s capital Thursday looking for patients and others exposed to the disease.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Israel Palest_Roge.jpg U.S., U.N. announce deal on Gaza cease-fire

    Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire beginning Friday, during which time there will be negotiations on a more durable truce in the 24-day-old Gaza war, the United States and United Nations announced Thursday.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Congress_Stew.jpg Congress oks VA, highway bills, not border measure

    Congress ran full-tilt into election-year gridlock over immigration Thursday and staggered toward a five-week summer break after failing to agree on legislation to cope with the influx of young immigrants flocking illegally to the United States.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wisconsin Unions_Stew.jpg Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds union law

    The fight over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s signature policy achievement, a law effectively ending collective bargaining for most public employees, ended Thursday with the state Supreme Court declaring it to be constitutional.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today in History

    In 1714, Britain's Queen Anne died at age 49; she was succeeded by George I.

    August 1, 2014

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results