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Man shot to death in Las Vegas as he arrives for church

Updated October 16, 2017 - 4:35 pm

It was still dark early Monday when Iglesia La Luz del Mundo members heard a gunshot outside the central Las Vegas Valley church.

When they ran outside, they found a man lying on the ground next to his car and called 911. His Bible, police said, was found about 10 feet from where he had been left for dead.

“It’s very sad because he was just arriving to church,” Metropolitan Police Department homicide Lt. Dan McGrath said. According to the parishioners who found him, he was a regular at the church’s early morning service.

Just after 5:35 a.m., Metro officers received the report of a man down outside Iglesia La Luz del Mundo, or Light of the World Church, at the intersection of Eastern and Cedar avenues. When officers arrived, McGrath said, they found another churchgoer performing CPR on the man, who had a gunshot wound in his upper body.

The victim, who was in his mid-40s, was taken to University Medical Center’s trauma unit, where he died from his injury about 6:15 a.m. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

At the scene, churchgoers told police when they rushed outside after hearing the gunshot, they didn’t see any suspects or cars leaving the area.

As of Monday morning, detectives were still trying to figure out whether the man was targeted or if he was “a victim of opportunity.”

McGrath said the area, which is just north of a U.S. Highway 95 underpass, “has had some problems.”

“Based on the area, it could have been a robbery,” he said. “Right now it looks like it could have been a robbery gone bad.”

The homicide lieutenant added there may have been a struggle between the victim and his shooter, because the driver’s side door of the man’s car was open when officers arrived.

“It’s kind of a shot in the dark,” McGrath said. “It’s a challenging event right now without any witnesses, but we’ll knock on every door on this street to see if we can get a description.”

The man’s killing was the 205th homicide in Clark County this year and the 182nd investigated by Metro. He will be identified by the Clark County coroner’s office once his family has been notified.

Anyone who may have information on the shooting can anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter. Review-Journal reporter Max Michor contributed to this report.

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