Published Thursday, April 25, 2019 | 1:04 p.m.
Updated Thursday, April 25, 2019 | 6:45 p.m.
A broad daylight exchange of gunfire in front of a Las Vegas house Thursday afternoon killed a couple and wounded a bystander, according to Metro Police.
A male shot his female companion and a bystander after pulling up to a random house where two men were outside, Lt. Ray Spencer said. Police were trying to determine if the suspect then turned the gun on himself or if he was hit by rifle blasts shot by one of the other onlookers in the 3200 block of Silver Saddle Street, he said.
The bystander suffered a shoulder wound but was expected to recover at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, Spencer said. A 1-year-old child with the couple was uninjured.
More than three hours after the shooting, which was reported at about 12:40 p.m., investigators had yet to identify the decedents, who they assumed were a couple, or the child believed to be theirs, Spencer said.
Two men were outside their house in the neighborhood near Eastern Avenue and Desert Inn Road when a vehicle rolled up and parked, Spencer said.
A man, woman and small child exited the California-registered vehicle, Spencer said. The couple argued, and the woman, holding the toddler, walked up to the strangers and handed one of the men the child.
She went back to the argument, Spencer said, but the child broke free and ran back to her.
Again, she handed over the child and walked back to the suspect, who then pulled out a gun and shot her and one of the men, Spencer said.
But by this time, the other bystander had gone in the house to retrieve a rifle, Spencer said. When the victims were hit, the resident returned fire. However, Spencer said, it wasn’t clear if his bullets dug into the suspect or if he'd taken his own life.
The decedents also were rushed to Sunrise Hospital but died there, Spencer said. Investigators were probing an injury near her neck to see if she’d also been stabbed.
It wasn’t clear if the child, who was handed over to Clark County Child Protective Services, was in the line of fire, Spencer said. The neighborhood gunman, believed to be acting in defense of the female victim, wasn't expected to face any charges.
By later afternoon, the neighborhood remained blocked off by yellow tape and police cruisers with their lights flashing. Investigators continued to try to pinpoint how an unknown couple ended up in a stranger's neighborhood, and how a man went from getting a haircut at the house to having to grab a rifle to try to fend off flying bullets.