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Green Valley Ranch, security guards sued over 2019 shooting death

Updated October 14, 2020 - 8:28 pm

The son of the armed man who was gunned down by two Green Valley Ranch Resort security guards on New Year’s Day 2019 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the casino and four of its employees.

The complaint, filed last week in Clark County District Court, alleges that the guards who shot 53-year-old Shannon Howell a combined 23 times “had no lawful authority to issue commands to Howell.”

It also states that Howell “was under no legal obligation to follow the commands of (the security guards) nor did he have time to comply with any commands before he was shot.”

Howell’s son, Dalton Howell, is seeking damages for false imprisonment, assault, wrongful death and negligence. Security guards Karl Stephens, Larry Norman, Jesus Arellano and Richard Parents also are named as defendants.

A spokesman for Red Rock Resorts, which owns Green Valley Ranch, declined to comment on the lawsuit Monday, citing pending litigation.

Security called

On Jan. 1, 2019, patrons at Green Valley Ranch called security to report that Shannon Howell had been walking around with a handgun, according to the complaint.

Parents approached him at the pool and told him the area was closed and he had to leave. He “did not inform Howell that he could not have a firearm in the hotel nor did he contact law enforcement,” the complaint states.

Howell left the pool area and sat down by himself on a couch in the east tower.

Despite carrying a firearm into a casino being legal under state law and Arellano having “no knowledge that Howell had committed a crime,” the complaint states, Arellano radioed other armed guards at the casino to search for Shannon Howell.

Arellano and two other guards, Norman and Stephens, approached the elder Howell in the east tower and asked if he had a firearm. He said he did, according to the 19-page court document.

Stephens and Norman then drew their weapons on Howell and yelled “unclear commands” for several seconds, the document states.

When Howell stood up from the couch and allegedly “appeared to be reaching towards his pocket,” the complaint says, the two men then shot him 23 times. He fell backward, with a Glock 19 found lying next to him.

No charges filed

No criminal charges have been filed in the death.

Attorney Peter Goldstein said his client, Dalton Howell, is an only child who was just 18 when his father died. Goldstein said the young man hasn’t been given many answers about the death.

“He had a very close relationship with his father. It’s just devastating for him,” the attorney said. “We really want to get to the bottom of what happened here.”

Goldstein said he wants to obtain video surveillance of the shooting, which could shed more light on the case.

Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on Twitter.

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