Las Vegas Federal Building Shooting Leaves 2 Dead, 1 Injured - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas Federal Building Shooting Leaves 2 Dead, 1 Injured

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Court security officer 72-year-old Stanley Cooper Court security officer 72-year-old Stanley Cooper
People evacuated from the federal building were sent to the Las Vegas Academy. People evacuated from the federal building were sent to the Las Vegas Academy.
Much of downtown Las Vegas was closed to traffic. Much of downtown Las Vegas was closed to traffic.
Bullet holes can be seen in the glass of the federal building. Bullet holes can be seen in the glass of the federal building.

LAS VEGAS -- A lone gunman killed a federal court security officer and wounded a Deputy U.S. Marshal before he was shot to death at the Las Vegas Federal Courthouse Monday.

The gunman is 66-year-old Johnny Lee Wicks. Sources say he was apparently angry about a reduction in his social security benefits when he stormed into the Lloyd George Federal Courthouse and opened fire.

Read the Lawsuit filed by Johnny Wicks

Seventy-two-year-old Stanley Cooper, a court security officer, and an unnamed 48-year-old deputy U.S. Marshal were gunned down when Wicks opened fire in the lobby of the federal building in downtown Las Vegas around 8 a.m. Cooper is a retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department sergeant. A motorcade made up of dozens of police officers escorted his body from University Medical Center to the Clark County Coroner's Office.

SLIDESHOW: Federal Officers Shot in Las Vegas

FBI Special Agent Joseph Dickey said the shooting started in the main foyer and continued outside. The gunman was killed across the street from the federal building, which is located on Las Vegas Blvd. between Bridger and Bonneville Avenues. Seven U.S. Marshals and security officers were involved in the gunfire. Some witnesses say they heard between 50 to 100 shots fired. 

Wicks filed a lawsuit against the Social Security Administration in early 2008. In a handwritten complaint, he said discrimination had followed him from California to Nevada. Wicks wrote this about one California agent, "Doesn't try to hide the way he feels about black people so he reduced my benefits."

Wicks explained he suffered a stroke some years back. He claimed his benefits dropped from $886 to $445 a month and then to $128 a month.

U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley reviewed the case and determined Wicks' payments were reduced because Nevada, unlike California, does not provide a state supplement. When Wicks moved to Nevada he was no longer eligible for the supplement.

The case was ultimately dismissed in September of 2009.

Prior to Wicks' arrival at the courthouse, investigators suspect he set his home on fire. He lived at Sunrise Senior Village on 30th Street in Las Vegas.

Senator John Ensign says he had four employees in the building at the time of the shooting. He said he talked with one witness who saw the incident. "He walked in an started firing and no motivation is known at this time," he said.

"We don't believe it's terrorist-related at all," said Dickey.

Dickey says the gunman was dressed in black and had the shotgun hidden under a jacket when he entered the building. Although there were initial reports that there might be more than one gunman, federal agents now say the gunman was alone and never made is past the security area.

Police evacuated hundreds of people from the building. It is now closed to the public, along with the Regional Justice Center. All court business was canceled for the day.

The nine-story federal building was constructed in 2002 and houses the federal courthouse, along with offices for several federal entities. The building was one of the first new federal buildings to be constructed according to safety standards that went into effect after the Oklahoma City bombing.

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