The couple are believed to have acted alone on Sunday when they
killed the lunching policemen before heading to a nearby Walmart,
where they killed a bystander who tried to stop them. Later,
surrounded by police, 22-year-old Amanda Miller shot and killed her
31-year-old husband, Jerad, then took her own life.
“At this time we believe this is an isolated act,” Assistant Clark
County Sheriff Kevin McMahill told a news conference. “There is no
doubt that the suspects have some apparent ideology that’s along the
lines of militia and white supremacist.”
Information about the suspects gleaned from police and social media
painted a picture of a pair with increasingly extremist views on
government and law enforcement, culminating in an ominous Facebook
post a day before the shooting.
"The dawn of a new day. May all of our coming sacrifices be worth
it," Jerad Miller wrote on Saturday.
Police said the Millers, who married in 2012 in Indiana, had
expressed support in social media for renegade Nevada rancher Cliven
Bundy, whose property was the scene of a high-profile April standoff
between federal agents and Bundy supporters over a forced round-up
of his cattle from public land.
McMahill said investigators were looking into any possible ties
between the couple and right-wing extremist groups, as well as any
links to the Bundy ranch action, which became a magnet for
anti-government militiamen angry over what they viewed as federal
Bundy's son, Ammon Bundy, told Reuters the Millers had indeed been
at the family's Bunkerville ranch, but that militia members asked
them to leave because of "radical conduct." He did not know the
nature of the behavior that got them ousted or how long they stayed.
“We’re working to figure out those details,” Bundy said.
Records from Indiana's Tippecanoe County show Jerad Miller was
charged with felony marijuana possession in 2010. Police said he was
also convicted of vehicle theft offenses in Washington state.
Amanda Miller's Facebook page contains photos of the couple dressed
as comic book villains The Joker and Harley Quinn, and the Las Vegas
Review-Journal reported the couple were known to dress as characters
and pose with tourists on Las Vegas' popular Fremont Street area.
Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research for the
Anti-Defamation League, which monitors hate groups, said the Millers
appeared to be "right-wing anti-government extremists of the
'Patriot' movement variety, believing in all the common militia-type
[to top of second column]
McMahill said investigators believed they equated law enforcement
with the Nazi movement and saw police as oppressors, even as they
appeared to subscribe to white supremacist ideology themselves.
“We can hope for peace. We must, however, prepare for war," Miller
posted on Facebook earlier this month, without clarifying who he
viewed as an enemy. "To stop this oppression, I fear, can only be
accomplished with bloodshed."
McMahill said police believed patrol officers Alyn Beck, 41, and
Igor Soldo, 31, had been targeted at random by the couple, who
confronted them as they ate lunch in a pizza parlor booth.
After shooting the officers, the couple dragged them from the booth
and placed a yellow Revolutionary War-era banner bearing an image of
a coiled snake and the slogan "Don't Tread on Me" atop Beck's body,
He said they also threw a swastika symbol on Beck's body and pinned
a note to Soldo saying the attack was "the beginning of the
They then grabbed the officers' weapons and fled to the Walmart,
where Amanda Miller gunned down a bystander who had tried to
confront Jerad Miller with his own concealed weapon after the couple
burst into the store shouting: "This is a revolution."
The couple exchanged fire with police and retreated to the rear of
the store, where a wounded Amanda Miller killed her spouse and
herself, McMahill said. Police found hundreds of rounds of
ammunition in their possession.
(Additional reporting by Alexia Shurmur in Las Vegas, Steve Gorman
in Los Angeles, Jennifer Dobner in Salt Lake City and Mark Hosenball
in Washington; Editing by Jim Loney and Peter Cooney)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.