The bullet that killed Las Vegas gunman Jerad Miller came from a police officer’s rifle, authorities confirmed Wednesday, revealing video surveillance footage from the final shootout.
Initial reports said Miller’s wife, Amanda, fatally shot him before she committed suicide Sunday amid a gunfight with cops in a Las Vegas Walmart.
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The harrowing video shows the pair on the ground with their guns drawn. In the moment prior to what is shown on the clip, Jerad Miller, 31, had already been struck by police, said Assistant Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill.
“None of the rounds that she fired hit him,” McMahill said at a news conference.
Before the video goes dark, an officer can be heard saying 22-year-old Amanda Miller was about to commit a “405” — the local police department’s code for a suicide.
McMahill said investigators conducted a forensic review of evidence at the crime scene and an autopsy of the bodies to determine “she did not shoot him.”
The suspects were carrying three guns when they killed two police officers who were having lunch, police said. The firearms — a Smith & Wesson 9 mm, a Ruger .38-caliber revolver and a Winchester 1300 12-gauge pump-action shotgun with a pistol grip — were later recovered.
After killing officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo at a pizzeria, the pair stripped them of their weapons and ammunition. They left a swastika, a Revolutionary War-era “Don’t Tread On Me” flag and a note proclaiming, “The revolution is beginning,” on the fallen officers.
The pair then migrated to the nearby Walmart, where a gun-carrying customer, 31-year-old Joseph Robert Wilcox, tried to take down Jared Miller. But police say Amanda Wilcox blindsided Wilcox and fatally shot him at close range, police said.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Police stand outside a Wal-Mart on June 8 after a shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. Authorities two assailants gunned down two police officers in a pizzeria on Sunday, then shot dead a civilian in a Walmart before dying during a gunfight with cops.
Investigators believe the Millers' murderous mayhem was motivated by an anti-government and anti-police ideology, but in three previous contacts with the suspects this year, neither expressed that sentiment, police said Wednesday.
The first contact came in February, when federal law enforcement responded to a call that Miller had threatened to “shoot anyone who showed up to arrest him for a suspended [Indiana] driver’s license.” While Miller was angry over his suspended license, police didn’t have probable cause to arrest him and closed the case, McMahill said.
Police went to the couple’s home twice again, but for cases not specifically involving them: In April, they were questioned about a domestic battery call regarding a neighbor. In May, a sexual assault was reported involving a male acquaintance who allegedly assaulted someone.
But police found no evidence that the couple harbored anti-police sentiments or were planning to unleash carnage against cops.
In those cases, “seasoned detectives didn’t believe they posed a threat to police officers or anyone else,” McMahill said.
In the aftermath of the killings, it was discovered that Jared Miller railed against the government on social media posts, had a rap sheet dating back to at least 2000 and was a supporter of controversial Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.
McMahill said investigators are trying to piece together what set off Miller and his wife.
“How you go from an ideology to action and murdering uniformed police officers is something we need to figure out as quickly as we can,” he added.
— Erik Ortiz
First published June 11 2014, 9:39 AM