They walked past the two officers, Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, and Jerad Miller yelled, “This is a revolution!” Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters at a Monday news conference. Miller then pulled out a handgun and shot officer Saldo once in the back of the head, killing him, the start of a bloody rampage that would leave five people dead, including the shooters.
From that first shot in a strip mall pizzeria, the couple went on to kill the second officer, firing at least five times before killing Alyn Beck with an apparent throat shot. Beck never had a chance to fire.
Jerad Miller, 31, then covered the officers with a Gadsden flag — a yellow banner with a coiled snake above the words “Don’t Tread on Me” — and placed a note with a swastika symbol on one officer’s body, according to police officials speaking at the news conference.
The ambush was apparently random in that the Millers had not decided on a victim and police said the couple seemed to have acted alone. But the attack was believed to have been deliberate, McMahill said. “I can tell you there’s no doubt that the suspects have some apparent ideology along the lines of militia and white supremacist,” McMahill said. The couple had swastikas, but those symbols were in keeping with their view that law enforcement was “an oppressor,” he added.
The the couple had also visited the standoff between the federal Bureau of Land Management and cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, an incident that became a lightning road for armed libertarians.
Jerad Miller had faced criminal charges in the state of Washington and Indiana before he and his wife, Amanda moved to Las Vegas in January. They both worked as costumed performers and had their pictures taken with tourists. Amanda Miller also held down a job a nearby Hobby Lobby.
Officials said they were still searching for a motive for the attack, but based on surveillance videos, they have assembled a timeline of attack. From the pizza restaurant, the couple grabbed their backpacks and walked to the nearby Wal-Mart, entering through the front door. Jerad Miller fired one shot into the air and told everyone to get out and that the revolution had arrived. Amanda placed the backpacks into a shopping cart.
Joseph Robert Wilcox, 31, of Las Vegas, carried a concealed weapon as he shopped. He moved to confront Jerad, but apparently didn’t realize that Amanda was with the gunman. As Wilcox confronted Jerad, Amanda fired into his ribs and he collapsed, dead, police said.
The couple gathered items from around the store and essentially built a fort of products around themselves. From that position they exchanged fire with police officials and exchanged some words, police said.
Wounded, Amanda took a handgun and fired several rounds into Jerad’s head before taking her own life with a gunshot to her head. Officers handcuffed both; Amanda was still breathing but died soon after.
Neighbors at the Oak Tree Apartments were the couple lived were trying to figure out how the couple from the Midwest had come to such an end.
“At first he was OK, then the Bundy ranch thing happened and things changed,” said Larry Burnette, a neighbor of the couple. “Him and his wife went out there carrying guns. I tried to tell them not to go, but they were so against the police. They wanted the cops to go away and leave the Bundys alone.”