Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2019

Currently: 72° — Complete forecast

Robber killed in failed Las Vegas jewelry store heist; employee critically wounded

Deadly Shootout At Jewelry Store

Steve Marcus

Metro Police investigators and a crime scene analyst are shown outside John Fish Jewelers at the Commercial Center on East Sahara Avenue Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018.

Deadly Shootout At Jewelry Store

Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer briefs reporters following a take-over robbery that turned into a shootout at John Fish Jewelers at the Commercial Center on East Sahara Avenue Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018. Launch slideshow »

An employee, a customer and a robber were hit by bullets in shootout Saturday inside a small, family-owned jewelry store during a failed central valley heist, according to Metro Police.

The robber died and the employee was critically wounded, while the customer is expected to survive, Lt. Ray Spencer said. The other suspect is still at large.

The store is tucked in a large shopping center located in the 900 block of Sahara Avenue, near Maryland Parkway.

“Anyone who’s going to go into a business during daylight hours to conduct a takedown robbery in that manner,” Spencer said, “I can tell you we’re going to put an extraordinary amount of resources into this to make sure that the outstanding suspect is held accountable.”

The two armed men planned to tie up employees and customers while the robbing the store, Spencer said.

But a longtime store employee, who was armed with a concealed weapon he has a permit for, was in a back room of the store when the gunmen entered, Spencer said. And soon guns blasted as the employee and at least one of the suspects exchanged bullets.

Multiple bullets struck the employee, who was able to fatally wound one of the suspects, Spencer said. It wasn’t clear whose gun fired the bullet or rounds that hit the customer, Spencer said.

Medics transported the employee and the customer to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where the employee remained in critical condition Saturday night, Spencer said.

Police were looking for the other suspect, who fled on foot. Spencer described him as a black man whose dark-colored outfit included a hooded sweatshirt.

Multiple employees and the one customer were inside the business when the gunmen walked in. The wounded employee worked there for some years, Spencer said.

“It’s a small family owned business, at this point the family is obviously extremely shaken up and are putting all their energy and efforts right now into the healing of their employee and the customer who was struck,” he said.

About 30 minutes before the shootout, Metro also responded to a business near Flamingo Road and Decatur Boulevard, where a customer trying to fleece her manicurist, ran down the woman, killing her with a rental vehicle.

Both incidents weren’t related, but Spencer’s message to the suspects was uniformed. “”I urge both suspects to turn themselves in,” he said.

“In both these cases we have very seasoned and capable investigators. We’re going to find both people responsible for both cases.”

Anyone with information should contact Metro at 702-828-3521 or via email at [email protected] To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 or online at