Published Monday, June 23, 2014 | 11:36 a.m.
Updated Monday, June 23, 2014 | 12:42 p.m.
Fifteen days after the shooting deaths of two police officers and a bystander in eastern Las Vegas, Metro Police have not determined a motive for their killers, Jerad and Amanda Miller.
“It would be pure speculation on my part to say what their motive was,” Sheriff Douglas Gillespie said in a news conference this morning at Metro Headquarters.
Gillespie briefed the media and gave additional details in the deadly June 8 shootings at a CiCi’s pizza restaurant at 309 N. Nellis Blvd., and a nearby Wal-Mart at 201 N. Nellis.
“You always think you've dealt with the worst. You always think you've heard the worst, but I must tell you all: It was a new day for me on June the 8th,” Gillespie said.
Gillespie said the initial 911 calls about the execution-style shootings of Officers Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck at the CiCi’s came in at 11:22 a.m. The first responding officers were at CiCi’s by 11:26 a.m. By then, the Millers were already on their way to the Wal-Mart.
At 11:28 a.m., Jerad Miller entered the Wal-Mart and declared, “The revolution has started. The cops are coming. Get out!” When it appeared few were heeding his warning, Jerad Miller fired a shot into the air, and shoppers started scrambling.
It was at that point, Gillespie said, that bystander Joseph Wilcox, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, confronted Jerad Miller. Unknown to Wilcox, however, Jerad Miller was not alone. Amanda Miller shot Wilcox.
The two Millers then went to the sporting goods section of the store, where they broke open a display case and grabbed the ammunition it contained.
Gillespie said the two were well armed — including the firearms they had taken from Soldo and Beck — and had armor-piercing ammunition designed to kill. He said Amanda Miller purchased their weapons in Indiana. The Millers moved in January to Las Vegas from Lafayette, Ind.
During the attacks, the Millers wore adult diapers, carried water and MREs, the military's meals ready to eat.
"They knew they weren't going to use restrooms or they knew they were going to be in a standoff," Gillespie replied when asked why suspects would wear diapers.
The Millers' intent, Gillespie said, was to kill police officers.
Inside the Wal-Mart, responding Metro Officer Brett Brosnahan was the first officer in contact with the Millers. As Brosnahan was tracking Jerad Miller, Gillespie said, he came face-to-face with Amanda Miller.
Both holding guns, Amanda Miller raised her handgun, firing. She missed Brosnhan completely, but he fired and caught her in the shoulder. Brosnahan backed away, went outside and gave info to more officers who arrived.
Sgt. Kurt McKenzie tried to negotiate with the Millers, but Jerad Miller had a message for the officers on the scene.
“Stand down. You have failed. I am in charge now.”
Jerad Miller, it turned out, was misinformed.
Within minutes, he had exposed himself and was fatally wounded by a .223-caliber bullet to the chest; shortly afterward Amanda Miller shot herself in the side of the head. She later died at University Medical Center.
Gillespie said the investigation continued. So far, investigators have not uncovered any coordinated effort involving others.
“They acted alone,” Gillespie said.
Jerad Miller's Facebook page, about a month before the shooting, included a plea for a weapon. Several people replied. Gillespie was asked if anyone else was involved in supplying the two with weapons, or if anyone else is being investigated.
"I wouldn't say no one else is being looked at; no one else is involved in the planning of this particular incident," he replied.
From a tactical standpoint, Gillespie said police response to the shooting demonstrated "the time, effort and energy that we've put forth in regard to our tactics and enhancing those tactics" paid off. "We were better prepared for this event that we would have ever been if we hadn't done that."
More personally, Gillespie "was reminded of just how dangerous (the job) is. But then I'm reminded of just how quality an organization that I'm part of."