Michael Todd Lopez was from Lake Havasu City, Arizona, about 70 miles south of Laughlin, the coroner’s office said Wednesday afternoon. His death was ruled a homicide from multiple gunshot wounds.
On Wednesday morning the Metropolitan Police Department identified the officers who shot Lopez as Cory Mikkelson, 52, and John Susich, 42, of the department’s Special Weapons and Tactics bureau.
Mikkelson joined Metro in August 1994; Susich joined in March 2006. Susich was given Metro’s Lifesaving Award in 2011 for his role in a three-person effort to rescue a suicidal man atop a parking garage.
Metro has said Lopez was shot about 7:30 a.m. following an hourslong standoff with police in the parking lot of the Aquarius hotel-casino, where he had apparently placed his weapon on the counter of the cashier’s cage and demanded money about six hours earlier. It was his second attempted robbery in Laughlin that morning, according to Capt. Nichole Splinter.
The Aquarius is less than a mile from Metro’s substation in Laughlin, an unincorporated Clark County town about 75 miles southeast of Las Vegas.
According to Splinter:
Lopez became nervous after seeing an Aquarius security guard and walked away. Outside the casino, on the way to his car, Lopez shot at another guard who confronted him, but missed.
When he reached his car, Metro officers surrounded him. For the next six hours, Lopez refused police commands to exit the car until he abruptly emerged with his weapon drawn and ran toward officers, prompting Mikkelson and Susich to open fire.
It’s unclear if Lopez fired a round at officers, none of whom was injured.
Splinter said that shortly before the attempted robbery, the same man had tried to hit the Golden Nugget, which backs up to the Colorado River at 2300 S. Casino Drive, in the same fashion. After the cashier refused to hand over money, the man left.
Per Metro protocol, body camera footage and further details of the shooting will be released this week. Mikkelson and Susich have been placed on paid leave pending Metro’s investigation.
A 69-year-old man named Michael Todd Lopez was charged Aug. 6 with two counts of disorderly conduct in Lake Havasu Municipal Court, online court records show. He pleaded not guilty.
Further information about that court case was not available Friday. It was unknown what — if any — criminal history Lopez had.