Las Vegas Metro Police Department
Monday, April 29, 2013 | 4:46 p.m.
Metro Police Lt. Hans Walters placed a call to emergency dispatchers in the early morning hours of Jan. 21 to report he had just killed his wife and son, had set their Boulder City house on fire and was about to kill himself.
Maximilian Walters, who was 19 days shy of his sixth birthday, witnessed his father shoot his mother in the head, Hans Walters told the dispatcher, Sicily Orton. That’s why, the father said, he had shot the boy to death.
“Please forgive me,” Walters said to Orton.
Those details, along with others from a three-month investigation into the shooting deaths of Kathyrn Walters, 46, and Maximilian Walters, along with Hans Walters’ suicide, were released Monday by the Henderson Police Department.
The probe included dozens of interviews with police, firefighters, neighbors, relatives and co-workers. The gist of the findings: Hans Walters acted alone in shooting his wife and child before turning a handgun on himself that day.
Police and firefighters arrived in the 1300 block of Esther Street shortly after the 911 call, in which Walters warned he would shoot anyone who tried to extinguish the fire. A man armed with a handgun stepped outside the front door of the burning house. He ignored officers' commands to put down the gun and re-entered the burning home. Shortly afterward, police believe, Hans Walters killed himself.
Several witnesses offered theories that Hans Walters might have snapped after several years of seeing his wife deteriorate from pain from a back injury brought on by running marathons. Witnesses recounted to police, and Hans Walters told the dispatcher, medication was not helping Kathryn Walters' chronic pain.
Kathryn Walters, a former Metro officer, was not herself and was about to undergo another round of back surgery, her brother, Greg Watkins, said in an interview with police. Hans Walters, Watkins said, had confided to another of Kathryn’s brothers that “I don’t know if I can deal with this.”
Witnesses said there were no apparent signs of financial problems or infidelity in the Walters’ marriage.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office determined Kathryn Walters died from a gunshot to the eye. She was wearing a green nightgown.
Maximilian Walters was found wearing Gymboree pajamas and “Star Wars” underpants; he died from a gunshot in the back of the head, the coroner determined.
Hans Walters, dressed in a white T-shirt and blue jeans with a black gun holster strapped to his belt and jeans, had shot himself just above his right ear, the coroner determined.
Hans Walters had been with Metro since September 1991. He reached the rank of lieutenant in January 2010. At the time of his death, he was assigned to the Patrol Division, Enterprise Area Command.
Kathryn Walters was employed by Metro from January 1991 until August 2004. She was assigned to the Patrol Division before voluntarily leaving the agency.
Under an agreement with Boulder City Police and with the cooperation of Metro, Henderson Police led the investigation into the crimes.