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Las Vegas Strip shooting suspect in custody in California

Updated September 28, 2020 - 5:47 pm

The California Highway Patrol has arrested a suspect wanted in a shooting on the Strip late Sunday that left one person critically injured and a hotel-casino on lockdown for hours.

Las Vegas police Lt. David Gordon said a man “was involved in an altercation” with five to 10 men around 11 p.m. on the sidewalk on the 3500 block of Las Vegas Boulevard South.

“At some point during the altercation, a male suspect produced a handgun and fired a shot, striking the victim in the upper torso,” Gordon said. “After the shooting, the group of males ran north, then east.”

The victim was taken to a hospital in “critical but stable condition,” Gordon said.

CHP apprehension

The California Highway Patrol said a man wanted in the shooting was one of two people taken into custody early Monday following what at first seemed to be a routine traffic stop on Interstate 15.

According to the agency, officers from the Barstow-area office were on patrol on I-15 at 12:40 a.m. when they observed a red Hyundai Elantra traveling at a high speed in the southbound lanes. The vehicle’s driver was stopped for speeding. The driver was identified as David Preston, 19, and a passenger was identified as Christian Miller, also 19. Their hometowns were not immediately identified.

“The officer observed signs and symptoms of alcohol intoxication exhibited by Preston,” the Highway Patrol said.

Preston was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired. The Hyundai was towed, and Miller was taken to Baker, California, by the towing company. Preston was taken by officers to Baker for blood tests, the Highway Patrol said.

“During transport the Barstow CHP dispatch center received information from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department regarding a wanted subject and vehicle from a shooting which had occurred a few hours earlier on the Las Vegas Strip,” the agency said.

Troopers contacted Las Vegas police and confirmed Miller “to be the subject wanted in the shooting.” Troopers then tracked down Miller in Baker and arrested him.

Gordon said Monday morning that the suspect was being held in a California jail “pending steps to extradite him back to Nevada.”

The California Highway Patrol said fugitive warrants were outstanding for both Miller and Preston, but it was not clear if those warrants were related to the shooting in Las Vegas. Both men were housed at the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto, California, on Monday.

Flamingo on lockdown

The search for a gunman in Las Vegas, meanwhile, caused significant inconvenience for guests at the Flamingo. Andrew Schilinski, who was visiting from Florida and staying at the Flamingo, said the casino was on lockdown shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday. Guests were prevented from using stairwells or elevators for hours while police investigated whether a suspect had fled into the casino.

“No one can exit the hotel or get to their rooms. The elevators and stairwells are locked down,” Schilinski said of the lockdown, adding that by 2:30 a.m. he had been standing in line for three hours waiting to get upstairs.

Schilinski said police were blocking the elevator bays to prevent people from going upstairs from just after 11 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. There were a few hundred people waiting for the elevators when police started letting people upstairs in “a free-for-all as everyone pushed and shoved and crowded into the elevators,” he said.

Katie Carano Miller, a spokeswoman for Caesars Entertainment Corp., parent company of the Flamingo, said in a statement Monday afternoon: “We are aware of the incident that occurred on the Las Vegas Strip sidewalk in front of our property. We are cooperating fully with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department with respect to the investigation.”

Last week, Las Vegas police reported that overall violent crime is up less than 1 percent in 2020 on the Strip and adjacent areas, but aggravated assaults are up 29 percent year to date.

Contact Glenn Puit at gpuit@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0390. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter. Contact Alexis Ford at aford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexisdford on Twitter.

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