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Man accused in downtown killing told police he ‘killed that alien’

Updated November 21, 2023 - 8:03 pm

Las Vegas police said a man admitted he “killed that alien,” referring a 46-year-old man found shot in a downtown Las Vegas apartment.

Police arrested 44-year-old Major Sanford on Nov. 9 around 7:15 a.m. minutes after reports of a shooting at 415 S. 10th St., near Clark and Lewis avenues, according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report. One 911 caller said gunfire struck his vehicle as he sat outside the Las Vegas Academy of Arts theater building.

Police found Shannon Awa dead inside an apartment.

Sanford said during police questioning that he called Awa an alien because Awa “is not his real brother although he wanted to be.” He said Awa lived with him in the 10th Street apartment and the shooting occurred after Awa tried to steal Sanford’s weed and gun.

Three bullets struck the theater building, police said, with students and staff inside.

The Clark County district attorney’s office charged Sanford with open murder, four counts of shooting at an occupied structure or vehicle, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

Court records show Sanford has been previously convicted of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

Sanford remained in custody without bail and is due in court on Jan. 11.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com.

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