Extremists’ lives, deaths detailed in review of 2014 rampage in Las Vegas

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Screenshot of a post from Jerad Miller’s Facebook page. Jerad Miller and Amanda Miller shot and killed two Metro Police officers at a pizza restaurant in Las Vegas and killed another person at a nearby Wal-Mart on Sunday, June 8, 2014.

Published Fri, Sep 4, 2015 (10:33 a.m.)

Updated Fri, Sep 4, 2015 (10:41 a.m.)

The anti-government extremists who killed two police officers and a local resident in June 2014 told a neighbor that they were planning to kill law enforcement authorities, place swastikas on their chests and disappear underground that day, a Las Vegas Metro Police detective said during an official review of the rampage.

Detective Tate Sanborn opened the inquiry with a second-by-second account of the violence: how Jerad and Amanda Miller shot and killed officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo at a CiCi's Pizza restaurant on Nellis Boulevard, then entered a nearby Walmart where Amanda Miller gunned down resident Joseph Robert Wilcox before the couple were cornered by police. Sanborn's account was accompanied by surveillance video from the Walmart, where Jerad Miller was killed by police and Amanda Miller took her own life.

Among the key outcomes of the hearing, it made clear that police, and not Amanda Miller, fired the shot that killed Jerad Miller. It appeared on video as if Amanda Miller shot her husband, but authorities said the fatal gunshot was fired by Officer Zack Beal during an exchange of gunfire with Jerad Miller. It had been reported that Amanda Miller fired the shot.

Sanborn also said that during their investigation, police interviewed a neighbor of Millers in their downtown Las Vegas apartment building and learned that the couple had announced their intentions the morning of the rampage. The interior of the Millers' apartment had been destroyed, he said, and the dwelling was in unlivable condition.

In addition, a slide shown during the inquiry showed a Facebook post by Jerad Miller in the days leading to the incident, saying: "To stop this oppression, I fear can only be accomplished with bloodshed."

The reviews are conducted by the District Attorney’s Office for officer-involved shootings, and often reveal details not previously known to the public. An ombudsman representing the interests of the public and the decedent’s family can also ask questions of witnesses.

The inquiry will not result in any determination of whether the police shooting was justified, a change made in 2010 to reform the controversial inquest process into officer-involved shootings.

Sanborn said the Millers entered the restaurant shortly about 11:15 a.m. on June 8, a Sunday, where Beck and Soldo were eating at a table near the back of the establishment. Jerad Miller asked an employee for the location of the bathroom, leading authorities to believe the couple was scouting out the restaurant at that time.

The couple returned to the restaurant a couple of minutes later and walked to the table where Beck and Soldo were sitting. Jerad Miller pulled a Ruger pistol from his waistband and Amanda Miller got a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun from a messenger-type bag slung over her shoulder, Sanborn said. Other key points of his account:

After the shooting stopped in the restaurant, the Millers draped a "Don't Tread on Me" Revolutionary War-era flag and pinned a swastika on Beck's body, then pinned a note to Soldo's body that said," This is the beginning of the revolution."

They then left the restaurant and entered the Walmart, where Jerad Miller fired a round from a handgun after walking in door. He told people: "Get out. This is a revolution. The police are on the way."

Many shoppers fled, but Joseph Robert Wilcox, a concealed carry permit holder, confronted Jerad Miller. Wilcox, 31, apparently believed Jerad Miller was acting alone, and Amanda Miller was able to approach him undetected and shoot him in the chest. The shot was fatal.

After claiming their third victim, the Millers went deeper into the store, stopping at the sporting goods section to break open a display case and grabbing ammunition it contained. The two wore adult diapers, carried water and MREs -- the military's meals ready to eat -- and were heavily armed with such weapons as a .38-caliber Ruger pistol, a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun, a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun and a Glock 9mm pistol taken from Soldo.

"It would indicate to me that they were prepared for a prolonged encounter with law enforcement at the Walmart store," Sanborn said.

The incident ended when a five-member team of Metro officers entered from the rear of the building and cornered the Millers. Amanda Miller was hit by a bullet during an exchange of gunfire, and Jerad Miller was killed.

Afterward, it was revealed that Jerad Miller, who had been arrested numerous times and had a felony auto theft conviction on his record, had posted a number of anarchist statements on social media, including a May 2 post on Facebook that hinted at his mindset a month before the rampage.

"There is no greater cause to die for than liberty," the post said. "To die for that cause is easy, to live for it is another matter. I will willingly die for liberty. Death, in a sense is freedom from tyranny. Death, is the easy way out. Most notably is the "suicide by cop" routine. Yes, standing before despots is dangerous and most likely does not end well for you. I know this, my wife knows this. Soon they will come for us, because they don't like what we think, and what we say. They don't like the fact that we, simply will not submit to fascist rule. We don't have much, but we are willing to sacrifice everything.......for you, for your freedoms. Even if you wouldn't let us have ours. We know who we are and what we stand for, do you?"

It was further revealed that the Millers had joined militia members who came to rancher Cliven Bundy's defense during Bundy's 2014 standoff with federal agents. However, the Millers were asked to leave the ranch because their views and behavior were too radical.

Debbie Wilcox, mother of Joseph Wilcox, attended the inquiry and said in an interview that she was still struggling to cope with the death of her son.

"Every day, I have to face the fact that my son is gone and he's not coming home," she said. "He's never coming home again."

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