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‘A cowardly act’: Police announce arrest of second teen in shocking hit-and-run killing

Updated September 20, 2023 - 7:26 pm

Las Vegas police announced on Tuesday that a second teen has been arrested in the hit-and-run killing of a retired California police chief, whose death was captured in a now-viral video shot by one of the suspects.

Police said the second teen, who was taken into custody Tuesday, is suspected of being the passenger in the 2016 Hyundai Elantra who filmed the disturbing video as the vehicle plowed into 64-year-old Andreas Probst.

“I’m here to talk to you today about a video most of you have seen by now, a cowardly act, that in my 22 years of law enforcement, left me personally appalled,” Deputy Chief Nicholas Farese said during a news conference. “Two juveniles joyriding in a car intentionally hitting and killing an innocent man who was riding a bicycle and leaving him for dead along the side of a road.”

Both teens will face murder charges, Lt. Jason Johansson said during the news conference at Metropolitan Police Department headquarters.

Johansson also described a reign of terror that the teens went on in northwest Las Vegas, hitting another cyclist and car before they fatally struck Probst.

In announcing the arrest, police officials — including Sheriff Kevin McMahill — were joined by Probst’s widow, Crystal, and his daughter, Taylor, as well as Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.

“We are devastated by the senseless murder of Andy,” Taylor Probst said. “Andy’s life was robbed by two individuals who did not believe that lives of others matter.”

Taylor Probst described her dad as a “man of honor and integrity” who spent 35 years in law enforcement. Probst retired in 2009 as the police chief in Bell, California.

“We now ask that District (Attorney) Wolfson’s office to take these crimes to the furthest extent of the law, as Andy’s death should not be in vain,” Taylor Probst said.

‘Justice will be served’

Wolfson pledged that “justice will be served in this case” and expressed confidence that the two teens would be tried as adults.

“In the criminal justice system, if you are a minor and you are eligible to be charged with the crime of murder, you are automatically sent to the adult system,” Wolfson said. “I am confident that that is what is going to happen in this case.”

Johansson outlined the sequence of events involving the teens, whose names were not released because of their ages, before Probst was hit. He also described how the first teen was arrested on Aug. 14, how police then learned about the video on Aug. 29, and how they were able to zero in on the second suspect.

According to Johansson, the teens struck another bicyclist, a 72-year-old man, who was riding north in the bike lane on Fort Apache Road, near Washburn Road, just before 5:30 a.m. on Aug. 14. The bicyclist suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening, the lieutenant said.

At this point, Johansson said, the driver was the teen who was the passenger in the car when Probst was later struck.

After they hit the first cyclist, Johansson said, the teens then intentionally hit a white Toyota Corolla driven by a man at Azure Drive and Tenaya Way. He said the man was not seriously injured.

The teens kept driving north on Tenaya Road. Near Centennial Parkway, Johansson said, they saw Probst in the bike lane and rammed into him.

Shortly after that, police were called to a crash involving multiple stolen vehicles on James Bilbray Drive and Balzar Avenue, Johansson said.

Officers responded and found one of the vehicles, then later found a second vehicle near Rancho Drive and Craig Road. Police then arrested the teen suspected of driving into Probst.

The passenger fled, but officers obtained surveillance video. The suspect was wearing a mask but had identifiable clothing and tattoos. When police executed a search warrant at his house, investigators found clothing that police say he was wearing when Probst was killed.

‘Random act of violence’

Johansson said police investigators were alerted to the video on Aug. 29, after a high school student approached a school resource officer and showed that person the video.

“A very appalling video which lacks morality,” Johansson said.

The lieutenant said “numerous interviews” and “digital evidence” helped lead police to the second teen.

Taylor Probst, alluding to how her father’s death has sparked a social media furor — some of which has boiled over into attacks on the Las Vegas Review-Journal over its coverage of the crime and some of which has been racist — called for cooler heads to prevail.

“We as a family in no way feel that Andy’s murder was based on race or profession,” Taylor Probst said. “It was a random act of violence. We ask you to not politicize or use Andy’s murder to fuel political agendas or to create cultural wars.”

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com.

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