Man arrested in shooting near Las Vegas Strip denies involvement in women's deaths

A 30-year-old man arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of two women Friday near the Strip told police he had been drinking and smoking marijuana that night and remembers little about what happened.

Omar Jamal Talley, 30, was arrested Saturday and interviewed by Metropolitan Police Department detectives about the shooting deaths of Californians Melissa Mendoza and Jennifer Chicas, both 27. The women were in a car with Jerraud Jackson about 1:23 a.m. Friday at the Miracle Mile Shops parking garage at Planet Hollywood Resort, 3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South, when Jackson and Talley got into an argument.

Parking garage security footage showed Talley exiting a gray Toyota Camry with California plates, walking up to the driver's side of a silver Hyundai sedan with Oregon plates and pointing a gun at the driver, detectives wrote in his arrest report.

Talley returned to the Camry after the Hyundai left the garage and sped after the car. About six minutes after security called police to report a fight at the garage, police received another call about gunfire at the intersection of Harmon and Polaris avenues.

Police found Chicas lying on the roadway. She was taken to University Medical Center where she died of a gunshot wound of the chest.

Less than five minutes after the shooting, Mendoza drove the silver Hyundai into The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas' valet area. She and Jackson had both been shot and were taken to UMC.

Mendoza died of a gunshot wound of the chest. Jackson was hospitalized in critical condition.

Talley told police Saturday that he was alone and drunk and had smoked marijuana when he saw two men fighting in the Miracle Mile Shops parking garage. One man was losing the fight and Talley decided to "help out," he told detectives.

In his account, Talley said he got involved in the fight briefly, security officers told everyone to leave and he left the garage. He told detectives he took a cab to get to the Strip and didn't remember how he left the garage.

When detectives showed Talley surveillance photos from the parking garage, he claimed to not recognize himself. When they showed Talley a photo of himself pointing a gun at the vehicle Mendoza was driving, he "would not explain why he pulled the gun."

"He said he did not shoot anyone," the arrest report said. He denied ever carrying any guns.

He later said the weapon was "just a BB gun" but refused to tell police where it was. He recalled driving Brown's car but didn't remember how he got home or where the Camry was.

"He also claimed to sometimes forget things because of drinking too much," detectives wrote in the arrest report.

Talley was booked at the Clark County Detention Center. He faces two charges of murder with a deadly weapon, one count of attempted murder with a deadly weapon and six counts of shooting a gun into an occupied car.

Mendoza's aunt, 49-year-old Tracy Pachote, said Mendoza and Chicas left California on Thursday to attend a Friday graduation for Jackson's relative's graduation in Las Vegas. Jackson was Chicas' children's uncle, Pachote said.

She last heard from her niece at 11:43 p.m. Thursday when Mendoza sent her photos of her and Chicas in their Circus Circus room, preparing to go out.

Mendoza was smart, intelligent, hardworking and loved to travel, her aunt said. She and Jennifer "Jenny" Chicas met in high school and had been best friends ever since.

Pachote cried over the phone as she talked about how close Mendoza was with Pachote's 3-year-old son and Chicas' children, her godchildren.

"We didn't just lose Melissa," Pachote said of Mendoza's and Chicas' deaths. "We lost two family members."

Contact Kimber Laux at or 702-383-0381. Find her on Twitter: @lauxkimber