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Double slaying, suicide shocking

Penny was alone in her west valley home about 8 p.m. Sunday when she heard a gunshot followed by a woman yelling for help.

From her window, it was too dark to see across the street of her gated community, but the lights of arriving police cars soon revealed the story: A young man was sprawled across her neighbor’s yard at 1809 Warrenville St., covered in blood.

“All I said was, ‘Oh, my God, he’s dead,'” said Penny, who asked that her last name be withheld.

Gregg Thomas, 23, of Las Vegas was alive when he was found, police said. He was taken to University Medical Center, where he died Monday.

Police said the man shot himself in the head after shooting and killing his girlfriend and her mother during a dispute over custody of his 1-year-old child. The victims, a 22-year-old woman and her 50-year-old mother, died at the scene near Hualapai Way, south of Charleston Boulevard.

Las Vegas homicide Lt. Lew Roberts said the suspect was visiting his child when he began arguing with his girlfriend. He forced his way into the residence and shot the two women.

“They get into a beef and he shoots her, shoots the mother and then goes outside and shoots himself,” Roberts said.

“It’s a double-murder, suicide,” he said. “Definitely a domestic situation.”

Roberts said the 1-year-old and a female juvenile were in the house when the shooting happened but were not harmed.

It wasn’t known who would gain custody of the children, said Christine Skorupski, spokeswoman for Clark County Family Services. She wasn’t aware of the details of the case but noted the department’s standard procedure.

“Our first priority is to find an adult family member,” she said. “After 24 hours, if we can’t find anybody, (the children) go into foster care. But we never stop looking for a family member.”

Penny said police stayed in the neighborhood until about 1:30 a.m. Monday. That was when police allowed her husband to pass through the barricades to get home.

Later on Monday, when the police tape and patrol cars were gone, all that remained to mark the crime scene was a pile of dirt where the suspect’s body had been.

Penny said the dirt had been put there — either by police or someone at the house — to cover the bloodstains.

Another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she’d been watching “Cops” for the first time in her life when she heard police sirens.

“I thought they were coming from the television,” she said.

The neighbor shook as she recounted the details of the crime and recalled her interview with police detectives.

She hadn’t known the victims or the suspect. They kept to themselves, she said. But she couldn’t believe anyone in her neighborhood could be involved in such a horrific event.

“This is a quiet place, a safe place, I thought,” she said.

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283.

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