Erik Grigg was smoking one last Marlboro, and then he was headed to bed.
It was after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, and Grigg and his girlfriend, Bonnie, were relaxing after a small scare. While they were dozing in front of the television, someone outside their apartment tried to force his way inside.
The deadbolt stopped the intruder, and Grigg didn’t see anyone through the peephole, but he was still rattled.
After 10 minutes, he dismissed the incident as "a couple of kids or something" and went to the porch with his smokes.
Seconds later, a man appeared around the corner of Grigg’s first-floor apartment building.
"I’m a detective," lied the man, who would be shot by Las Vegas police early Thursday in the valley’s second fatal officer-involved shooting in nine days.
"There’s 15 black guys outside and there’s about to be a shootout. Get inside, get your kids down and put your babies in the back. Get inside now."
Grigg hadn’t seen any other men, but when he noticed the chrome handgun at the man’s side, he didn’t see a reason to disobey orders.
He grabbed Bonnie, ran to the bedroom, and lay on the floor to call 911.
"I was this close away from losing my life to a mad shooter," a shaken Grigg said Thursday morning, sipping a Coors Light to calm his nerves. "I’m getting a gun. By tomorrow."
Las Vegas police arrived soon after Grigg’s 911 call. After a standoff that lasted about an hour, they shot and killed the man, who reportedly shot at police first.
Police said the man had tried to break into several residences at Broadstone Montecito apartments, at 9745 Grand Teton Drive near Grand Canyon Drive in the northwest valley.
"At one point, he began kicking a door so badly a woman contemplated jumping off her balcony to get away," said officer Marcus Martin, a police spokesman.
He said the man never gained entry to a residence.
The man was not identified by authorities on Thursday.
It wasn’t clear how many officers fired shots, but the next morning at least four bullets were lodged in the walls and doors of the building’s third-floor stairwell, where blood stained the floor.
Maintenance employees worked throughout the morning, replacing one apartment door struck several times by bullets. Police searched a Cadillac de Ville left in the apartment parking lot.
Grigg said their building had been evacuated before the shooting and the other buildings had been locked down by a "battalion of officers." No one was inside at the time of the shooting.
He and Bonnie huddled in the back of a patrol car a few hundred yards from the scene and didn’t hear the shots. But they heard officers negotiate with the man for at least 45 minutes through the car radio.
"They were saying, ‘You’re not in trouble. Just put the gun down,’ " Bonnie said.
Grigg didn’t hear much about the shooter’s description, except that he was an ex-felon with a lengthy record.
Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said she heard the gunman shout just before the shooting, "You’re not gonna take me alive."
Shawn Rankins, 44, lives several buildings away from scene, but said he could hear the standoff negotiations and heard the shooting. He watched SWAT officers park and put on bulletproof vests behind his building, although he wasn’t sure which officers fired the shots.
"I heard one shot and then, well my wife said it sounded like they all opened up," Rankins said. "It sounded like firecrackers."
Both Grigg and his girlfriend said the man appeared to be high on drugs.
"He might have thought he really was a detective, wigging out and going door to door thinking he was going to save the planet," Grigg said. "I don’t know, that’s speculation."
Bonnie said, "My first thought was that he was on a bad trip."
On Feb. 15, Las Vegas police shot Tory "Rob" Manvilla after he wielded a knife and attempted to enter several homes. In that case, witnesses said Manvilla also appeared to be on drugs. He was acting erratically and appeared incoherent, and several friends later said he was a known drug user.
Police did not say whether Thursday’s shooting victim may have been on drugs.
Grigg said he believed officers did everything they could to get the gunman to surrender.
Although the man never threatened him or Bonnie, there was a chance he could have shot an innocent person, Grigg said.
"All I know is I’m behind Metro 100 percent. They did everything right."
Contact reporter Mike Blasky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0283.