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Mother mourns son killed at Bally’s, forgives man accused in shooting

Norma Sattiewhite takes comfort knowing her son died while trying to save others.

Police called him a hero. But his mother knew that long ago, she said.

“He was my hero,” said Sattiewhite, 63. “He’s my hero, and I know he’s with the Lord … I’m not surprised he died trying to save someone’s life.”

Kenneth Brown, 40, was shot early Monday morning as he left Drai’s After Hours nightclub inside Bally’s on the Strip.

When Brown saw Benjamin Frazier, 41, shoot two Bally’s security guards, Robert Farias and Anthony Guerrero, Brown jumped on the man’s back and wrestled for the gun, according to police. Brown was shot in the neck and upper chest, and he died at University Medical Center.

Both guards are expected to survive. A man who answered a phone number listed for Farias said the guard was “doing fine” but not interested in talking about the shooting.

Sattiewhite learned of her son’s death when a Clark County coroner’s employee came to her home Monday evening.

Despite her shock and sadness, she said she isn’t angry at Frazier.

“I forgive the man that shot my son, because of my faith,” she said. “I am a child of God. That’s the only thing giving me strength.”

Brown, who recently moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles and worked as a club promoter and stand-up comedian, was her only child, she said.

Sattiewhite had an appointment Tuesday morning with the funeral home handling her son’s death, but the coroner’s office hadn’t released Brown’s body as of Tuesday morning, she said.

“I just want to see my son. I want to see my boy,” she said.

Police said Frazier opened fire about 5:45 a.m. in Bally’s, at 3645 Las Vegas Boulevard South, at Flamingo Road, after an argument at the entrance to Drai’s.

Frazier asked club security whether he could go in and preview the crowd before paying a $30 cover charge. Police said he decided to pay the cover and went inside but came out shortly afterward demanding a refund because the club wasn’t full.

He pulled a .38 caliber revolver on the security manager, Farias, during the argument and began firing as several people attempted to disarm him, police said.

Farias was shot in the arm and chest. Frazier then shot security guard Guerrero in the stomach, according to his arrest report. That’s when Brown, who was leaving the nightclub, intervened and tackled Frazier.

Other patrons and guards held Frazier after Brown was shot. Frazier’s revolver was not registered in Clark County, according to a police report released Tuesday.

Frazier, who had a head injury from being tackled by Brown, was booked in absentia on charges of murder and attempted murder. He will be booked into the Clark County jail after he is released from the hospital. He was in a coma Monday, his uncle Robert Beckett told the Review-Journal.

Beckett said his nephew has battled issues with alcohol.

“This is devastating. I’m celebrating my third year of sobriety and I had hoped I was setting a good example,” said Beckett, a local defense lawyer and former Nye County district attorney. “I don’t know if alcohol was involved this morning, but there is a family history of alcoholism. I was hoping that all this was behind us.”

Frazier has a history of violent crimes in Las Vegas.

He was arrested on an attempted murder charge in connection with a June 30, 1996, incident at a topless club.

Frazier cut a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to perform community service and take impulse-control counseling.

Most recently, Frazier was charged with three counts of misdemeanor battery in connection with a fight Feb. 29, 2012, when he punched a bartender at a Strip casino and kicked another. He pleaded guilty in November 2012 to one count of battery and was sentenced to six months of probation and ordered to take alcohol counseling.

The shooting was the second deadly shooting on the Strip this year stemming from a nightclub altercation.

Ammar Harris, a pimp who bragged about his criminal life in Las Vegas, was arrested after a February shooting and crash on the Strip that killed three people. Police said the incident started after Harris and another man argued in Aria’s Haze nightclub.

Harris is accused of shooting and killing Kenneth Cherry as he was driving on the Strip. Cherry’s car then crashed into a taxi at the intersection of the Strip and Flamingo Road. The cabdriver, Michael Bolden, 62, and his passenger, Sandra Sutton-Wasmund, 48, were killed.

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283. Follow @blasky on Twitter.

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