Murder-suicide suspected in deaths of Las Vegas couple

Updated January 15, 2018 - 3:08 pm

A couple who police said were new to the Las Vegas Valley were found dead Monday morning after an apparent murder-suicide.

Police said it was about 7:30 a.m. when a Shelter Cove resident checked on his roommates inside the bedroom he was renting them. It had been more than 24 hours since he had heard from or seen the man and woman, police said.

From outside the apartment on the 2600 block of South Decatur Boulevard, he called 911.

“This morning when I got up, I could hear my neighbor outside on the phone with police,” said Shay, another Shelter Cove resident, who declined to provide her last name. “I heard him saying they weren’t moving.”

Police believe the man and woman were in their late 50s and had been dead since at least early Sunday. Residents in the area told detectives they thought they heard what sounded like gunshots sometime late Saturday or early Sunday, but Metropolitan Police Department homicide Lt. Dan McGrath said the gunshots were not reported to police at the time.

Evidence found at the scene, including a handgun inside the couple’s bedroom, suggests the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide. A motive remained unclear Monday, but McGrath said the woman was “dealing with some significant medical issues.”

The man who found their bodies was cooperating with detectives Monday.

“He was worried and just checking on them,” McGrath said. “Then he found them deceased from gunshot wounds.”

In the hours after the two had been found, the central valley apartment complex was quiet, save the handful of officers and detectives milling around the first-floor apartment unit.

While police continued to investigate Monday morning, the couple’s roommate stood outside, his arms crossed, with three neighbors. On the other side of the yellow crime scene tape, two officers stood watch as detectives walked in and out the apartment’s front door.

“We all are very close. We all hang out and walk our dogs together,” Shay told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I’ve been outside with him all morning, keeping him company and consoling him. We all have each other’s back.”

The roommate declined to comment Monday, but Shay said she also had a feeling something may have happened when she didn’t see the other man come outside to smoke for nearly two days.

“I usually see him out on the patio every morning smoking a cigarette, and we always say hi,” she said. “And when I didn’t see him coming out yesterday or Saturday night, I thought it was weird because he always smokes.”

But Shay said she only knew the man in passing, having just met the couple in November when they moved in.

“It seemed like the woman had a lot of health problems, so she stayed inside a lot. I think she was bedridden,” she said. “But the man, he was very friendly, very nice, and always asked me about my day whenever I walked my dogs.”

McGrath, the homicide lieutenant, said neither the man nor the woman had a criminal history.

“I never suspected anything,” Shay said. “They were friendly people who mostly kept to themselves.”

The two will be identified by the Clark County coroner’s office once their families have been notified. The coroner’s office also will determine whether the man or woman was the shooter.

This marks Metro’s fifth homicide investigation this year.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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