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Police Investigating Las Vegas Shooters' Supremacist Ties

Monday, June 09, 2014

A day after a deadly shootout, police in Las Vegas are beefing up patrols.

On Sunday, two police officers were killed after they were ambushed by a couple of shooters at a pizza restaurant in a local strip mall. The violence then spilled over to a Wal-Mart, where a civilian was killed and the shooters apparently committed suicide.

The Las Vegas Review reports that in the aftermath, LVPD has asked off duty officers to volunteer to work and patrol squads were asked to double up so each police officer would have a partner.

The paper adds:

"Details are sketchy, but Metropolitan Police Department sources close to the investigation say the shooters shouted that 'this is the start of a revolution' before opening fire on the officers, and draped their bodies with cloth showing a Revolutionary War-era flag. Investigators have also found paraphernalia associated with white supremacists.

"Sunday night, Metro homicide investigators and FBI agents cordoned off and were searching a small apartment complex at 110 S. Bruce St., about four miles from the shooting scene. A resident of the complex said he had spoken with a man who lived in the apartment being searched. He said the man appeared 'militant,' and often talked about conspiracy theories.

"An explosion was heard at the apartment complex at about 9:30 p.m., but no information was immediately available Sunday night."

The Associated Press reports that the two officers killed were Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, both husbands and fathers.

"It's a tragic day," Sheriff Doug Gillespie said at a news conference according to the AP. "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."

Update at 3:05 p.m. ET. Suspects Identified:

During a press conference a short while ago, police identified the suspects as Jerad Miller and his wife, Amanda.

According to the AP, police said the couple acted alone, but they were investigating whether the couple had been "at Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch during a standoff earlier this year."

Reuters reports authorities said the suspects "expressed support in social media" for Bundy.

The AP adds that police said the couple had an "ideology along the lines of militia and white supremacists."

CNN quotes Second Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill as saying that the couple shot the two police officers and then placed a "Don't Tread on Me" flag and a Nazi swastika on one of the dead officers.

"We believe that they equate government and law enforcement ... with Nazis," McMahill said. "In other words, they believe law enforcement is the oppressor."

Police have yet to release the identity of the civilian killed during the rampage.

Update at 3:29 p.m. ET. Kicked Out Of Bundy Ranch:

Mother Jones has been sifting through posts Jerad Miller made on Facebook. They find that Miller did sympathize with Bundy and claimed to have gone to the ranch.

As a reminder, Bundy is a Nevada rancher who had cattle grazing on federal land without paying. The Bureau of Land Management rounded up his cattle, but militia members rallied around Bundy. Fearing a violent confrontation, the BLS released the cattle.

Mother Jones reports that Miller said he was kicked off the Bundy Ranch when they found out he was a felon.

"They don't seem to understand that they are all felons now for intimidating law enforcement with deadly weapons," Miller wrote on Facebook. "So don't tell you that they need people. We sold everything we had to buy supplies and quit our jobs to be there 24/7. How dare you ask for help and shun us dedicated patriots."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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