Sunday, January 10, 2010

Courthouse shooting over loss of Social Security benefits -- Las Vegas, NV

A gunman opened fire in the lobby of a federal building in downtown Las Vegas on Monday, killing one court officer and wounding a second before he was shot to death.



The gunfire erupted moments after 8 a.m. at the start of the work week and lasted for several minutes. Shots echoed around tall buildings in the area, more than a mile north of the Las Vegas Strip. An Associated Press reporter on the eighth floor of a high-rise building within sight of the building heard more than 20 shots during the sustained barrage of gunfire.

The U.S. Marshals Service says the victims included a deputy U.S. marshal and a court security officer. The 48-year-old deputy marshal was hospitalized, and the 65-year-old security officer died.

Law enforcement officials say the suspect in the Las Vegas shooting at a federal building was upset over losing a lawsuit over his Social Security benefits.

The two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, say Johnny Lee Wicks is the man who opened fire at a security checkpoint Monday morning and was shot dead in a gunfight with deputy U.S. marshals.

While the investigation is still under way, the officials say the early evidence points to the man's anger over his benefits case as the motive for the shooting.

Court records show Wicks had sued the Social Security Administration in 2008, but the case was thrown out and formally closed in September 2009.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/04/las-vegas-shooting-2-guar_n_410535.html

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