By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas police on Wednesday released a video of Jerad and Amanda Miller in the final moments of their lives, as they lay barricaded on the floor of a Wal-Mart store Sunday, with Jerad apparently in the throes of death and his wife about to put her gun to her head and pull the trigger.
The grainy video, taken from a store security camera, shows Amanda with her long hair cut Mohawk-style, lying on her side with her husband before her, lying on his stomach. Various store objects surround them.
The video shows Amanda pointing her gun at Jerad and apparently pulling the trigger. Then the footage stops as officers monitoring the situation in the store office say “she is about to 405,” code for someone taking their own life. “The female just shot herself in the head.”
Police say that Amanda did not, however, shoot her husband. Jerad was fatally wounded by a bullet from a police rifle.
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said the short video clip is part of the mountain of evidence in the case, in which the pair shot and killed two Las Vegas police officers as they ate lunch at a nearby pizzeria and then stormed the Wal-Mart, killing Joseph Wilcox, an armed Good Samaritan. During the rampage the couple reportedly shouted messages of anti-government revolution.
Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill said much of the video is violent and shows just how “cold-blooded” the pair of killers were.
He said the motives of the pair remain a mystery and that detectives had not yet determined whether they were part of an organized domestic terrorism group or acted on their own.
He detailed three contacts Las Vegas police had with the couple prior to Sunday’s shooting, but said that each time the couple did not appear hostile. They described the contacts as “normal.”
In one police went to the couple’s downtown apartment in April after receiving reports that Jerad Miller had made threats to the Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles. Miller was angry because he had been stopped by Boulder City, Nev., police, who found that his license had been suspended.
McMahill said Miller “was very angry and very frustrated over removal of his driver’s license.” Miller apparently could not get answers from Indiana authorities about why his license had been revoked. After learning that Miller had threatened to kill anyone who came to arrest him for driving without a license, Las Vegas police went to his apartment.
Officers said they found him cooperative and Miller denied making threats, McMahill said.
“Because a person may espouse anti-police or anti-government opinions on the Internet doesn’t make them a murderer,” McMahill said. “What made this pair turn to murder, we are working on that. We are working to find out how they went from ideology to action and move on to killing police officers. That’s something we need to find out.”
Police said the pair used three weapons in the assault, not including those they took from the two downed officers, Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo. The weapons were a Smith & Wesson 9-mm pistol, a .38-caliber revolver and a 12-gauge shotgun with a pistol grip. None of the weapons had been stolen, police said.
Gillespie said police were also investigating a box of documents the pair left with a neighbor. They would not speculate on reports that the papers suggested the two planned to take over a court building in the near future.
“We’re looking at all the material to determine their thought processes,” he said.
AFP Photo/Ethan Miller