A man shot by police last week and a second man stand accused of murder in two separate homicides on Jan. 22 in the Las Vegas Valley, police announced Wednesday.
The Metropolitan Police Department named Christopher Ashoff, 38, and Devin Campbell, 24, as suspects in two deadly shootings that occurred three hours apart — one in southeast Las Vegas and another in North Las Vegas, a release said. Each faces two charges of murder and a charge of robbery with a deadly weapon.
Metro first indicated that Ashoff was connected to two homicides at a press conference on Monday discussing details on the Jan. 31 police shooting. At the press conference, Clark County Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman told news media that Ashoff was shot by two members of a multijurisdictional arrest team who were attempting to take him into custody on warrants related to a Jan. 17 shooting.
Members of the Criminal Apprehension Team staked out a residence that morning on the 500 block of Poplar Leaf Street, near Alta and Pavilion Center drives, and ordered Ashoff to come out. After he first tried to escape through the back of the house, he backed a sedan out of a garage and hit police vehicles multiple times, police said.
Ashoff reached for a pellet gun in the passenger seat and three detectives opened fire, two of them hitting him, police said. He remained hospitalized Wednesday.
The first of the two deadly shootings on Jan. 22 was reported about 1:15 p.m. as a pedestrian hit by a vehicle at the intersection of Brittlewood Avenue and Lamoille Circle, near East Hacienda Avenue and South Pecos Road.
First responders determined that a 24-year-old man found on the sidewalk had actually been shot. The man, Josue Lizardo Contreras-Verdin, died of a gunshot wound to the chest at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Neighbors had heard what they thought was a crash and called police. They saw a four-door silver sedan leaving the scene as they went outside, a release said.
Then, just before 4 p.m. in North Las Vegas, a shooting and another possible crash was reported on the 4800 block of Rancho Linda Court, near North Commerce Street and East Lone Mountain Road, Metro said. Police found Juan Manuel Gonzalez-Cruz, 36, lying in the street next to a vehicle. He died at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds.
At the time, North Las Vegas police had said the shooting didn’t appear to be a random act of violence and that Gonzalez-Cruz had met with two people prior to the shooting.
Metro homicide detectives learned the next day that the two cases were related and assumed the lead on both investigations, the release said.
Details on what led police to identify the pair as suspects in the shooting weren’t available Wednesday afternoon. However, at Monday’s news conference, Zimmerman said police had received “pretty good information” since the Jan. 31 police shooting that Ashoff was connected to two homicides.
The arrest team, led by the FBI and housed within Metro’s Major Violators Bureau, arrested Campbell on Tuesday near Pecos and Tropicana Avenue, police said.
Campbell was hospitalized for unspecified minor injuries he suffered during the arrest and later booked into the Clark County Detention Center.