Las Vegas police officer Igor Soldo’s son celebrates his first birthday in July.
Officer Alyn Beck’s youngest daughter won’t be a year old until August.
Both fathers were gunned down Sunday while having lunch at CiCi’s Pizza, 309 N. Nellis Blvd. They were uniform patrol officers assigned to the Metropolitan Police Department’s Northeast Area Command and the first two victims in a shooting rampage that left a third man dead at a nearby Wal-Mart. The shooters, Jerad and Amanda Miller, died in an apparent suicide pact.
“The families of the officers are dealing with the loss of their loved ones and our police department family is trying to cope with their deaths as well,” Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said during a Monday news conference.
The two slain officers had come to Las Vegas to become cops in a fast-growing department that was hiring rapidly during boom times — Soldo from Nebraska; Beck from Wyoming.
Beck was handy with tools and carpentry, often jumping in to help friends with remodeling projects when he was off-duty. He was dedicated to his job, said family friend and spokesman Ryan Dennett.
“He loved police work,” Dennett said. “He absolutely was very much into physical fitness.”
Soldo, 31, had encouraged his older brother to become a police officer.
“He told me to look into being a police officer,” said Robert Soldo, 33, who joined the force in Beatrice, Neb. “I looked into it. I loved it.”
The Soldo brothers grew up around uniforms. Their father, Pero Soldo, was a fire chief in Bosnia.
The family came to the U.S. when the boys were children, settling in Nebraska. Igor Soldo graduated in 2000 from Lincoln Southeast High School in Lincoln, Neb., and then studied criminal justice at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Robert Soldo said police work was a bond between the two brothers, and he would sometimes call Igor for advice.
Before Igor Soldo joined Metro in 2006, he researched law enforcement agencies around the nation and was most impressed by the Las Vegas force, his brother said.
“He would give his shirt off his back,” Robert Soldo said. “He would never hurt a fly. He was just a great man all around. He was a great officer, he was a great father, son and a brother, and we’ll all miss him terribly.”
Before moving to Las Vegas, Soldo worked as a part-time corrections officer for three years in Lincoln, said Mike Thurber, director of the Lancaster County Department of Corrections in eastern Nebraska. Thurber said many supervisors at the small jail remember the slain officer.
“I think they all just feel kind of helpless right now,” he said. “There’s nothing they can do.”
Igor Soldo met his wife, Andrea, when working at the Nebraska jail, where she also was a correctional officer, his father, Pero Soldo, told the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper. The couple married in 2009 and planned to celebrate their son Logan’s first birthday in Lincoln on July 7.
Beck, a senior patrol officer, 41, become a Las Vegas cop in 2001.
He had recently interviewed and tested for promotion to sergeant, said Dennett. Beck grew up in Green River, Wyo., before coming to Las Vegas and starting his law enforcement career, which included serving with the tactical squad.
“He could have made more money elsewhere, but he loved what he did and took it seriously,” Dennett said.
Dennett recalls once remodeling his bathroom, with Beck coming to help him though it was 10:30 p.m.
Beck was active in working with youth in his church, weaving experiences from police work into life lessons for youngsters. Beck met his wife, Nicole, in Wyoming. The couple had three children, the youngest a daughter born in August.
“He was mainly about his family,” Dennett said. “He was also about serving his friends.”
Services for Beck will be held Saturday, but the time and venue are still being finalized, according to Dennett. No plans have been announced for Soldo.