RENO — A gunman who died in a shootout with police after being accused of killing two women near Reno has also been linked to a possible homicide in Arizona, where he had been released from prison just 11 days before his death, authorities said Wednesday.
Suspect Anthony Gustave Nelson was killed in the gun battle Friday after leading authorities on a high-speed chase about 85 miles east of Reno, Washoe County deputies said.
Nelson, 40, had been in prison since 2007 on a sexual assault charge and met with his parole officer on June 2, the day he was released, Undersheriff Tim Kuzanek said at a news conference.
In Arizona, police disclosed that Nelson was in possession of property belonging to Quincy Gangwer, 32, who died in a suspected homicide in Tucson.
Police found Gangwer’s body at his home Monday after Nevada authorities asked them to do a welfare check. Gangwer was last seen alive on June 9 — four days before the deaths of the two Nevada women, who were 68 and 70.
Authorities said the husband of one of the women, who were friends, suffered a superficial gunshot wound in an exchange of gunfire with Nelson before calling 911 and reporting the suspect had fled in a Jeep owned by one of the women. None of the Nevada victims’ names has been released.
Detectives say they had found a vehicle registered to Gangwer in the garage at the home in Washoe Valley where the two women were killed.
Investigators have not established a motive for any of the killings or any clear connection between Nelson and any of the victims, Kuzanek said.
“That’s part of the puzzle we are trying to put together,” Kuzanek told reporters. “It’s very early in a very complicated investigation.”
The Nevada man who was shot and his 68-year-old wife had gone to check on the other woman at her home in New Washoe City after she failed to answer telephone calls.
Nelson is suspected of shooting the wife in the head when he met the couple at the front door. The other woman was later found dead inside her residence, a victim of multiple stab wounds, Kuzanek said.
Police say Nelson fled east on U.S. Highway 50 in the Jeep Cherokee. Officers spotted him and gave chase at speeds up to 100 mph before they killed him at the Sand Mountain Recreation Area about 25 miles east of Fallon.
Four Carson City deputies and three Nevada state troopers have been placed on routine administrative leave while Reno police investigate the officer-involved shooting.
Authorities in Arizona initiated an arrest warrant for Nelson the day after he met with his probation officer because he apparently had disabled the GPS tracking device he was issued as a condition of his release.
Kuzanek said Gangwer also was a convicted sexual offender.