Couple dead in northwest valley murder-suicide

A woman who worked at a local elementary school was killed by her longtime boyfriend Monday night just before he turned the gun on himself in their northwest valley home, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

At the time of the apparent murder-suicide, the woman would have normally been heading to tee ball practice with her two young boys, said a cousin, Daphne Sanders, 49.

“I called her about 5:15 to tell her tee ball practice was canceled,” Sanders said. The boys were not home when police said the woman was shot dead about 20 minutes later.

Sanders was standing in front of crime-scene tape that blocked access to the house, which is on the 4000 block of North Browndeer Circle, just north of Tenaya Way and Alexander Road. She shivered as she comforted more than 30 members of the woman’s family who waited for police to confirm what they already knew.

The shooting stemmed from a confrontation between the couple just before 5:30 p.m., Metro homicide Lt. Dan McGrath said later Monday. The woman called her family, the man called his and at least one person called police. Within 10 minutes, gunshots.

“A couple family members made it here, but not soon enough,” McGrath said.

Police didn’t make it in time either; they responded quickly, but by the time they arrived, the couple was already dead, he said.

McGrath did not name the man or woman; the Clark County coroner’s office will identify them once they speak with immediate family.

It was unclear if police had responded to the home for domestic violence calls before. McGrath added the woman’s sons were now in the care of relatives.

Down the street from the scene, the two boys sat in the back seat of a small a car, looking at a phone’s glowing screen as a relative of their mother sat in the front seat, crying. At one point, the woman’s father — and the boys’ grandfather — cracked open the door to talk.

“What’s up?” Stanley Williams asked the boys softly. “What’s going on?”

They smiled, then he asked them to scoot over so he could sit down too.

Williams said his 27-year-old daughter worked at Rex Bell Elementary School as a nurse’s aide, describing her as sweet and good with children.

Clark County School District spokeswoman Michelle Booth said Tuesday that the woman worked for the district as a nurse’s aide but not at Rex Bell Elementary. Booth declined to name the school where the woman did work.

As Williams sat with the boys Monday night, the woman’s mother was distraught. She yelled “why” over and over, and at one point collapsed; shehad just returned from Texas after traveling for another relative’s funeral.

Separate from the woman’s family and across the street, the man’s family also grieved together. When police confirmed they were both dead hours later, both groups slowly met each other in the middle, hugging and crying.

“I’m going to back this car up and move it to give you guys some more room,” one officer told the emotional crowd of about 50.

Above them and at the home, where the couple’s bodies still lay, a single light was left on in an upstairs bedroom.

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow her on Twitter @rachelacrosby

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