Police arrest 2 in case of veteran who died after Henderson attack

Updated October 11, 2017 - 8:22 pm

Henderson police said a man and a juvenile punched a 71-year-old Vietnam War veteran, causing him to fall and smack his head on the street in April. He died from his injuries in July, and police arrested the two this weekend.

Police said Anthony Andolina, 20, was arrested on a warrant Friday, and the juvenile, who is 17 and unnamed as he is a minor, was arrested on a warrant Saturday. Jail records show Andolina was in the Henderson Detention Center on Wednesday afternoon.

Police arrested the two after a lengthy investigation. They were tight-lipped during the investigation, releasing little information about Robert Gamboa’s death. Andolina’s arrest warrant, acquired Wednesday, details an argument over skateboarding preceding the Navy veteran’s death.

The murder suspects “had every opportunity to walk away from the altercation,” the warrant said.

Spokesman Rod Peña said the police determined that Gamboa got into the argument with four people — Andolina, the 17-year-old, an 18-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman. The dispute started about 9:20 p.m. on April 2 at a bus stop on the 100 block of Water Street.

Andolina and the 17-year-old punched Gamboa, the warrant said, and he died on July 21. The Clark County coroner’s office determined his death was a homicide.

A witness from across the street saw the late-night argument but couldn’t make out the words. The witness said he saw a young man “getting in the face” of an older man, with a young woman trying to hold him back and two others with them.

The witness saw the young man back away before approaching the older man again and throwing a left hook. The older man staggered back and fell from the curb, hitting his head on the concrete and making a “very loud” sound, the arrest warrant said.

Gamboa was found unconscious — his back on the street and his legs on the sidewalk — with a closed folding knife in his right hand. He later refused to talk about the scuffle with police and hospital staff.

The arrest warrant suggests the argument started after Andolina was skateboarding near Gamboa, who was awaiting a bus.

The 18-year-old man at the bus stop said Andolina “wrecked” while riding a skateboard, which nearly hit Gamboa, the arrest warrant said. Gamboa told him to stop skating near him, prompting the argument. The 18-year-old man told police Andolina punched Gamboa the moment he saw the knife, and the 17-year-old punched Gamboa twice, knocking him down.

Each of the four people, including Andolina and the 17-year-old, told Henderson police Gamboa pulled out a knife. However, their accounts varied on whether he ever opened it.

The 17-year-old, Andolina and the 18-year-old woman told police Gamboa shoved Andolina. The 17-year-old and Andolina then punched Gamboa, the three told police. Witness accounts vary on how many punches the pair tossed.

Tony Gamboa previously told the Las Vegas Review-Journal his father was sitting at the bus stop, on his way to his son’s home, when he was attacked.

Attempts to reach Tony Gamboa on Wednesday night were unsuccessful.

Robert Gamboa’s death was the sixth homicide investigated by Henderson police this year.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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