May 16, 2016 - 11:17 pm
Less than a half-mile away and less than two hours after an apparent murder-suicide left a couple dead in the southeast valley, a teen was shot and killed after a “gunfight” erupted just before 7 p.m. Monday inside Silverwood Apartments at 3050 Nellis Boulevard, according to an officer at the scene.
Several people who lived in the apartment complex called police as a “very hostile, violent crowd” exchanged words and bullets near the complex pool and part of the parking lot, Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Jeff Goodwin said.
One woman, a 22-year-old student who did not want to be named, was doing her hair inside her bathroom when she heard six gunshots, though police reported anywhere from four to 10 rounds went off.
“The gunshots, they sounded like they were going back and forth,” the woman said. In shock, she looked down from the window of her upper-level apartment to see a young person — possibly a teen — lying facedown on the ground below.
As the woman called police, the scene intensified.
“Someone was yelling for help, someone was trying to wave down passing cars,” she said, adding that none of the cars stopped. “Someone was crying.”
Police said the person shot was 17 years old and was chased — possibly targeted —before shots rang out. The boy later died at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
McGrath called the incident “reckless.” Most shots had rung out in the pool area of the complex, which had just opened for the summer; nearby before the shooting, a big group of children were in their bathing suits, headed for a swim, the woman said.
Another person was injured during the incident, McGrath said, but his wounds were from jumping a fence, not a gun. Almost everyone involved was a juvenile.
“I don’t know if they understand the repercussions of what they’re doing,” McGrath said of young people who pick up guns and fire them like those who did Monday. He added in many of those instances, the guns are stolen.
As of 9 p.m., no one was in custody, but at least one person had been detained for questioning.
After the earlier apparent murder-suicide, the teen’s death brought the total amount of homicides Metro is investigating this year up to 70, and the proximity and nature of the incidents prompted Sheriff Joe Lombardo to come to the latter scene and address the continuing increase in valley violence.
“We’ve talked about violent crime all the way leading up to tonight,” the sheriff said, as red and blue patrol-car lights flashed behind him. “If you look at our crime numbers, we’ve had a significant increase; unfortunately we’ve seen that similar increase across the United States. But my responsibility is here in the Las Vegas Valley.”
The coroner will name the deceased once their immediate family members have been notified.
One woman, who pulled up to the shooting scene shortly after an ambulance left, told an officer at the front she knew the young boy shot.
As a man she was with listened to the officer explain which hospital the boy would be at, the woman stepped away, rocking, clutching herself and talking to herself.
“Oh Lord,” she said. “Oh Lord no.”
Contact Rachel Crosby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5290. Find @rachelacrosby on Twitter.