Lamont Square proved to be an extraordinarily tense homicide scene for police and spectators after Wednesday morning's fatal shooting of a young man at the northeast Las Vegas apartment complex.
His family members screamed at police because they thought officers had lied to them about whether the body was still at the apartment complex. A livid young man who tussled with police kicked out the rear window of a patrol car after he was arrested. Then officers ordered dozens of people to take cover because they feared a gunman had opened fire from a nearby second-story window.
The incident started about 9:50 a.m., when a woman called 911 and said that four men with guns had tried to break into her boyfriend's apartment at the Lamont Square apartments, 1670 Lamont St., near Owens Avenue and Nellis Boulevard, Las Vegas police said.
Witnesses told police that four men in dark-colored sweat shirts were seen crouching near one of the apartments and that two of them were armed. Several shots were fired when the men got up to the door, and one of them, a man who appeared to be in his late teens or early 20s, was hit in the head by a bullet and fell, police said.
Las Vegas police Sgt. Russell Shoemaker said the man who was killed and the three other men might have been trying to break into the home. But police did not know whether the victim was shot by the homeowner or his accomplices, he said.
Police had questioned at least a dozen people by Wednesday evening but had not announced any arrests in connection with the case.
Within an hour of the shooting, family members and friends of the victim began driving up to the apartment complex. Many began weeping after speaking with officers. A woman who said she was the victim's mother collapsed on the sidewalk in grief and tucked herself into a ball.
"I just heard my grandson got shot!" screamed another woman.
But the family members also directed some of their rage toward members of the media who had gathered in the neighborhood and were pointing cameras at the grieving family.
"Get out of here!" yelled one man who shouted that his brother had been shot and killed.
Another man walked past a cameraman with a threat: "Get that camera out of my face. I'll take your (expletive) head off."
The woman who collapsed on the ground said she learned that the victim in the shooting was her son, whom she identified as 18-year-old Logan Lawson.
Police refused to release the name and age of the victim Wednesday.
Logan's mother said her son could not have been involved in the attempted break-in suspected by police. "Something doesn't sound right to me," she said. "Just because he was over here doesn't mean he was involved in it."
A little before noon, as police continued to investigate, a young man who was pacing back and forth in front of police suddenly kicked the door of a Las Vegas police car.
As four officers moved to handcuff him, he spat in one officer's face and tried to break free. After he was put into the back seat of a police cruiser, he kicked the car's rear window, shattering it.
"Calm down! Calm down!" one officer yelled at him. Police then tied the man's legs together and strapped him into the back seat of the car.
Just as the scene was calming down, police shouted at bystanders to take cover. An officer reported that a gunman had opened fire from a nearby apartment, and about half a dozen officers, with guns drawn, surrounded the apartment.
Police later learned that no shots were fired. A "device" had exploded inside a nearby car and sent shrapnel toward an officer, Shoemaker said. He said he did not know what the device was.
"This (the explosion) was a very unusual event, and its timing couldn't have been worse," Shoemaker said.