Victim of courthouse shooting remembered: ‘He will be missed’

The shooting death of Stan Cooper continues to generate an outpouring of respectful remembrance from his former colleagues at Metro.

Cooper, a 72-year-old retired police sergeant and 15-year member of the Court Security Officers team at the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse, suffered a fatal shotgun wound Monday morning in a shootout with Johnny Lee Wicks. Wicks was killed by deputy marshals and court security.

Assistant Sheriff Mike McClary was a young cop when he met the experienced Cooper.

"He was the consummate gentleman," McClary said. "He would communicate with you no matter who you were. He’d always take time to go, ‘Hey, kid, there’s a better way to do this.’ "

In Prescott, Ariz., former Metro Undersheriff Steve Waugh recalled Cooper as one of the best officers with whom he’d ever worked. They worked side by side in the Traffic Division. Waugh even visited Cooper while he was building a mountain cabin at Mount Charleston.

"I worked with him in traffic," said Waugh, now sheriff of Yavapai County. "He was just one heckuva nice guy. He was about as nice a guy as you’d want to run into. He was just one of those guys who did the job that was given to him. He was a real pleasant person to be around. It’s a shame this happened."

Retired Lt. Jim Chaney observed, "Stan Cooper was hands down one of the finest men I will ever know. He never in my life at Metro said a bad word about anyone, and he was universally loved and respected by every man and woman who worked at Metro or who ever knew him."

Retired Sgt. Phil Galvan said, "You hear this a lot when something bad like this happens, but the truth is Stan was one of those nice guys that was easy to be around, just easygoing and easy to work for. Stan was my sergeant in traffic for two years during the mid-1980s on graveyard. I enjoyed the time there working for him. He will be missed."

FEZZIK’S FINISH: The Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest football handicapping contest is hard to win once. Until last Sunday, no one had ever won it twice. Mike Fezzik changed all that when Tennessee beat Seattle by 4 points, winning the big contest for the second straight year.

The victory was good for $196,000 in prize money, substantial bragging rights, and the kind of legitimate credentials most sports handicappers only dream of.

If his victories are marketed right, you might be hearing the name Fezzik for years to come.

TENNEY’S RUN: Kendall Tenney, the popular former KVBC-TV, Channel 3 anchor, is no longer with the station, but the good news is he continues his devotion to the Make-A-Wish organization with his 9th annual "Run For A Wish" fundraiser Feb. 6 at Town Square. The race starts at 9 a.m. Sign up at

NEVADA BLOG: Josh Hicks, Gov. Jim Gibbons’ former chief of staff, has started a blog called A former senior deputy attorney general for Nevada, Hicks is a lawyer at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.

WYNN’S BREAD: Elaine Wynn once again shows she’s generous and community minded, this time by donating $1 million to the Three Square Food Bank.

ON THE BOULEVARD: The passing of Bishop Gorman football standout and longtime friend Tom Romeo is such a sadness. He was a good man who possessed a great sense of humor. I smile thinking about some of the good times we had.

He even forgave me for making a fool of myself by getting bucked off his sister Patty’s horse at his wedding reception. Seldom has a chipped tooth and a cracked rib generated more laughter.

Here’s to you, Tom.

John L. Smith’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. E-mail him at or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at

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