The married couple accused of killing two Las Vegas police officers on Sunday have been identified and more information on the incident has been released. Jerard and Amanda Miller are suspects in the shooting that killed the two officers in a pizza restaurant, along with a shopper at the Walmart across the street. After the police officer shooting, Jerard Miller is believed to have draped a Gadsden flag over the officers’ bodies, and then placed on top of it a manifesto with a swastika stamped on it that spoke of suicide and tyrants. The Gadsden flag is a yellow flag with the words “Don’t tread on me” and a coiled snake, which has been adopted as a tea party movement symbol.
Five were reported dead in the incident, including the two gunmen. The suspects entered a pizza shop where Officers Igor Soldo, 31, and Alyn Beck, 41, were having lunch and shot them at point blank rage. The gunmen then went across the street to a Walmart, where they shot Robert Wilcox, 31, who used his legally-registered concealed gun to try to stop the couple as they entered the store. The Millers then committed suicide as SWAT teams closed in.
Witnesses in the restaurant said after the shooting of the police officers the gunmen took the guns and ammunition from them and went across the street to Walmart. One witness, Alvaro Lopez, told CNN that the suspects walked past him on the way out of the restaurant. Lopez said he saw a gun and a backpack. Jerad Miller told Lopez to tell the police that he had just killed two cops inside the restaurant, and that it was a revolution. Another witness said “that man was crazy.”
According to one law enforcement source, the couple held extremist views toward the legal system. They attempted to participate in the recent militia standoff at the Bundy Ranch, in which federal agents were attempting to round up and move Cliven Bundy’s cattle off of Federal land. Jerad Miller said on his Google+ account that he and Amanda had quit their jobs and sold everything to go to the ranch, but that he was turned away by the Bundy group because he was a felon.
Jerad Miller’s criminal history appears to date back to 2001 when he was convicted of third-degree theft in one instance, and third-degree malicious mischief in another. In 2002 he was convicted of driving under the influence and obstructing a public officer. That same year he was found guilty of assault with intent to cause injury. It does not appear that Amanda Miller has a criminal background.
When the couple left their apartment at about 4:30 a.m. on the day of the shooting they told neighbors that they planned to murder cops. This was not their first threat. An examination of the Millers’ social media site showed pro-gun posts and a growing dislike for the government. They were interviewed by police in January after they threatened a Department of Motor Vehicles office. In early May Jerad Miller posted a long statement in which he said there is no greater cause than to die for liberty, and that they were willing to sacrifice everything. Further information shows that his last post was at 4 a.m. Saturday, the day prior to the police shooting in Las Vegas, which said that it was the “dawn of a new day,” expressing hope that all of their coming sacrifice be worth it.
By Beth A. Balen