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‘I saw the kid stumbling’: Neighbors recount Las Vegas teen’s slaying

Updated May 13, 2024 - 6:55 pm

Tai Faletolu, a next-door neighbor of a teen boy killed in central Las Vegas, said he was cleaning inside his home when he heard two gunshots Saturday morning.

“As I heard the shots, I just peeked out the window and then I saw the kid stumbling and then fall down,” said Faletolu, 26. “Right between the houses.”

At first, Faletolu recalled that he heard a relative of the boy “saying that he shot himself,” but learned later that an assailant had gunned him down.

The shooting was reported about 10:45 a.m. in the 2300 block of Goldhill Way, near Vegas and Rancho drives, Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Jason Johansson told reporters Saturday afternoon.

The victim, who was struck once, later died at University Medical Center, Johansson said.

According to the Clark County coroner’s office, the boy has been identified as 16-year-old Jovan Wright Bullock. His cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound to the chest, with the manner of death listed as homicide, the coroner’s office said.

Citing a preliminary investigation, Johansson said the boy was in front of his house when he was approached by his alleged shooter with whom he exchanged words.

Faletolu, a father of four, said the shooting has given him cause for concern.

“At first I thought the neighborhood was safe and now I’m kind of, I gotta look out for my kids,” he said

Another neighbor, Yolanda Olguin, 21, said she had come home from work and was in her bedroom listening to music, “and all of a sudden I just hear gunshots go off.”

Olguin’s first thought was that it was something else and didn’t think much about it until “like a couple of minutes later, my mom, she comes outside and I see the police come and neighbors come and I’m like, what’s going on?”

“So I came outside and the neighbor next door came and said, ‘Oh, they shot our neighbor and the body’s right there,’” Olguin said.

“This neighborhood, it’s really calm, like you will never see any chaos going on,” she said, while noting that her family has had several break-ins over the years.

Given the fatal shooting, Olguin said she now feels less safe on her block.

Her mother told her of witnessing “a shirtless man going down that way” to flee after the shooting, Olguin said, pointing toward the southbound side of North Robin Street across from the Veterans Tribute Career & Technical Academy secondary school.

Her family’s motion-activated surveillance camera did not turn on fast enough to record the running man, so police who asked to see the footage could not use it, Olguin said.

Marie Garraud, 39, who lives across the street from the scene, said she was in her kitchen at the time of the shooting and later when she was in her backyard a neighbor told her what happened.

“That’s when I went (out) there and we were watching together,” Garraud said. “I feel less safe. I have three kids, you know. A kid lost his life. It’s kind of scary.”

The shooting suspect, whom detectives believe knew Bullock, was described as being in his late teens, according to Johansson, who noted that the suspect was shirtless and wore black pants.

The suspected killer fled south and had not been found, Johansson said. As of Monday morning, no arrests had been made in connection with the killing, according to Las Vegas police.

Anyone with information related to Saturday’s shooting may contact Metro’s homicide unit at 702-828-3521 or homicide@lvmpd.com. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 701-385-5555 or crimestoppersofnv.com.

Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow him @JeffBurbank2 on X. Review-Journal Director of Social Media Caitlyn Lilly contributed to this report.

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