Las Vegas shooter Jerad Miller: petty criminal, 'Joker,' aspiring terrorist(Read article summary)
Evidence lays out a chilling picture of the mind-set of Las Vegas shooter Jerad Miller, who produced threatening videos while dressed up like the comic-book character the Joker and threatened to 'blow up whole nations.'
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department/AP
A chilling picture came into focus Tuesday of one of the two shooters who officials say killed two police officers and a good Samaritan during a shooting spree in Las Vegas on Sunday.
“I want to be a war mongerer [sic], not just some everyday terrorist,” Jerad Miller, dressed as the comic book homicidal villain the Joker, ranted in an online video posted months before the shootings. “I want to blow up whole nations.” He and his wife, Amanda Miller, also died during the incident.
In another video, Mr. Miller warned that the police cannot be trusted.
“What better way to kill and rape, after all, [than] if you’re wearing a badge,” he says. “When law enforcement and government are the criminals, they will fear an armed and educated people.”
Capt. Chris Jones of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Southern Nevada Counter-Terrorism Center identified Miller as the man in the videos, in which he denounced the federal government as tyrannical and oppressive.
“Year after year, I’ve watched you Americans, my fellow citizens, vote for tyranny,” the costume-clad Miller said.
Police say Miller and his wife had been staying at a neighbor's apartment Saturday night until about 4:30 a.m. Sunday. The couple reportedly wandered the city for hours before walking into a pizza buffet at a Las Vegas strip mall and fatally shooting two police officers eating lunch in a booth.
The couple then pulled the mortally wounded officers to the floor, stripped them of their weapons, and covered their bodies with a yellow flag bearing a swastika and the antigovernment slogan “Don’t tread on me,” police say.
The Millers then reportedly fled to a nearby Wal-Mart, where a shopper, Joseph Wilcox, pulled a concealed weapon with apparent intent to intervene. Ms. Miller shot him before he was able to fire his weapon, police say. Mr. Wilcox later died.
When two five-officer teams arrived at the scene, the couple tried to escape out the rear door but found it blocked by a squad car. As police closed in, Ms. Miller shot her husband several times before turning the gun on herself. Mr. Miller died at the scene and Ms. Miller died later at the hospital.
Clark County Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters during a news conference Monday that the couple equated “government and law enforcement with fascism, with Nazis,” CNN reported.
Mr. Miller had had previous run-ins with the police, including a felony vehicle theft conviction, phone harassment, driving under the influence, and malicious mischief, according to the Washington State Patrol.
In another online video, Mr. Miller showed the camera an ankle bracelet that he said he had to wear as a condition of house arrest for selling marijuana. In that video, he expressed his frustrations about gun control laws, government surveillance, and the federal government’s treatment of rancher Cliven Bundy.
The Millers had joined an antigovernment militia on Mr. Bundy’s Nevada ranch in April as part of a stand-off with the US Bureau of Land Management, which say Bundy owes the government $1 million in fees and penalties for grazing his cattle on federal land. Bundy has publicly denounced the authority of the federal government and refused to pay the fines.
Bundy’s son Ammon confirmed that the Millers had been present at the ranch this spring and said that militia members asked the couple to leave after just a few days. He described the couple as “very radical” and said they “did not align themselves” with the beliefs of the other protesters, The Associated Press reports.
“Not very many people were asked to leave,” Ammon Bundy told the AP. “I think they may have been the only ones."
This report includes material from The Associated Press.