County commissioner investigated in illegal shooting

Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins is under investigation for an illegal shooting on his property less than an hour before the start of Fourth of July, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has learned.

North Las Vegas police Sgt. Tim Bedwell would not confirm that Collins is the subject of an investigation. The shooting in question happened at 11:13 p.m. July 3, Bedwell said. Police were called to the 4200 block of North Decatur Boulevard, near Craig Road, to investigate a call about an illegal shooting.

Bedwell said the investigation is ongoing. No one has been arrested or was injured in connection with the shooting.

According to Clark County property records, Collins owns a home on the 4200 block of North Decatur Boulevard that was purchased in 1997. The home sits on more than an acre of land.

Collins would not confirm whether he had fired a weapon the night of July 3. He said he went to two holiday celebrations, went home and rode his horse.

"I didn’t do anything wrong," Collins said. "I’m not saying at this point. I did my usual celebration that I’ve done probably for 20 years. It’s very safe."

When pressed further about his tradition, he would not elaborate. When asked if he engaged in "celebratory shooting," by firing rounds into the air, Collins said no.

"I would never shoot in the air," Collins said. "That is totally unsafe."

Bedwell said his agency does not release names of people involved in ongoing investigations unless there is a constructive purpose in doing so. Names of subjects in investigations become public once charges are brought, an arrest is made or the investigation has concluded, Bedwell said.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson could not be reached for comment late Monday.

Earlier Monday night, Collins said he had "no idea what’s going on."

He said he was out riding horses on his property and that "rockets, Roman candles and M-80s were flying over the fence."

Collins said he has not been contacted by Wolfson or his office.

Collins, whose district includes North Las Vegas, was sworn into office on Jan. 3, 2005.

He was elected to a second four-year term that began Jan. 5, 2009. He is running for his third term in the November general election.

He calls himself "just a plain old cowboy," donning his signature cowboy hat at events, plugging his rodeo work and the nation’s largest shooting park, which is located in his district.

Contact reporter Kristi Jourdan at kjourdan@review or 702-455-4519. Contact reporter Antonio Planas at or 702-383-4638.

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