Las Vegas Courthouse Shootout Was About Social Security
A spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told reporters that a man who began shooting in a federal courthouse was killed by gunfire from seven employees of the U.S. Marshals Service. Authorities believe he acted alone and the gunman was dressed only in black.
Johnny Lee Wicks, the 66-year-old shooter, opened fire Monday morning in a federal courthouse in Vegas, killing one security officer and wounding a deputy marshal. They say he was angry about losing his social security benefits.
The shootout started in the foyer of the Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse and ended in the street. Officers evacuated the building and searched nearby buildings.
A witness video reportedly shows that at least 40 shots were fired. The FBI is investigating the incident with local authorities.
Security for the courthouse is provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, and Sens. Harry Reid and John Ensign also have offices in the building.
The court officer and the deputy marshal were taken to University Medical Center. The court officer died at the scene, and the deputy marshal is in serious condition, but his injuries are not life threatening. Jeff Carter, chief of public affairs for the Marshals Service, said this of the two men: “The brave actions of these two individuals saved the lives by stopping the threat of a reckless and callous gunman.”
The fallen security officer, 72-year-old Stan Cooper, became a federal court officer in 1994 after 26 years on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.