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Sheriff says suspect in 9-year-old’s death had prior criminal record

Updated March 16, 2023 - 6:44 pm

A man who police suspect fatally shot a 9-year-old boy has been arrested on a warrant, but he has not been charged in connection with the shooting, Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill said Tuesday.

McMahill declined to name the man but said that the suspect had previously been arrested on possessing a firearm as a prohibited person and that weeks before the shooting, he was arrested and accused of possession of more than 500 fentanyl pills.

“We had done a longtime narcotic investigation on him,” he said. “Do you know what 500 fentanyl pills could do to kill people? Everybody in this building could potentially die.”

At around 6 p.m. March 7, a bullet went through a wall in an apartment at 5390 Boulder Highway and struck two boys younger than 10 years old. One child died and the other was hospitalized.

McMahill said an investigation was ongoing to confirm what the man was doing with the gun and to have enough probable cause to charge him with murder.

“He is out there showing off with a gun, and then pulls the trigger on the gun and kills one kid and hospitalizes another,” McMahill said.

The children’s mother Justine Tate confirmed in an online fundraiser and in an email that her son SirArmani Clark was killed when a stray bullet came through the wall.

“He was great and if you knew my baby then you knew that his smile would brighten up the darkest house!!!! My children didn’t deserve any of this,” Justine Tate wrote online.

She also wrote that her 6-year-old son Honor Tate was struck. “Honor must go on with life after he has watched the most traumatizing thing a 6-year-old can imagine.”

She did not immediately respond for further comment Tuesday.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter. Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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