Man killed in struggle had violent crime record

A California man killed Thursday after Las Vegas police said he pointed a gun at an officer had a criminal record, including arrests for violent crimes, and had a history of mental problems, police said Monday.

Thomas Milling, 27, who used the name Thomas Miles as an alias, had been arrested by authorities in California for assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, threatening a police officer, narcotics and other charges, said Lt. Kyle Edwards of the Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide section.

Milling, who served time in California prisons on various charges, was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, according to his mother, and was at one time committed to the Metropolitan State Hospital, a mental institution in Norwalk, Calif., said Metro spokesman Lt. Charles Davidaitis.

Milling came to Las Vegas with his mother Jan. 2 and checked into the Lady Luck hotel to visit relatives, but he disappeared soon after arriving, Davidaitis said.

Milling, a one-time resident of Long Beach, Calif., entered a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at 2840 E. Tropicana Ave., at about 6 p.m. Thursday and started taking food from patrons, police said.

When Metro patrolmen Tim Opendyk and Gregory King arrived, Milling started walking toward the officers, police said.

Milling did not respond when officers asked him to remove his hands from his pockets, police said.

When the officers started to pull his hands out of his pockets, they saw a .38-caliber revolver in his right hand, they said.

Witnesses told police that a scuffle ensued, during which the officers tried to gain control of the gun. Milling then pointed the gun at one officer and refused to drop the weapon.

Opendyk fired three shots with his 9mm semi-automatic pistol, hitting Milling three times.

Police determined that Milling’s gun was loaded.

Opendyk and King were placed on paid leave pending the results of a coroner’s inquest.

The inquest is set for Jan. 18 in Dept 5. of District Court. Coroner’s inquests are required when a police officer is involved in the death of a civilian.

An autopsy report by the Clark County coroner’s office released Friday showed Milling died when three bullets entered his back and came to rest in his chest and abdomen.

Metro officials had not fully reviewed the coroner’s analysis of the wounds, Davidaitis said Monday.

Results of toxicology tests to determine the presence of any drugs in Milling’s system are pending, Edwards said.

Milling’s Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver was traced to a theft in Las Vegas two years ago, Davidaitis said. Milling apparently bought the gun on the street.

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