LAS VEGAS -- Police investigators said a violent man that terrorized and sexually assaulted a 79-year-old woman is now linked to several robberies that almost killed a man.
North Las Vegas Police said 37-year-old Abdul Howard went on a nearly month long rampage terrorizing clerks at convenience stores, demanding cash, and threatening violence.
Investigators said the first time Howard struck was March 20 at an AM-PM Store with surveillance video showing him with a gun. The two terrified clerks put up their hands as the robbery unfolded. Howard shot one of the clerks in the neck before running away into the night.
An intense lockdown and manhunt at the nearby Lucky Club Casino came up empty where police said Howard would strike three more times before getting caught.
On April 12, police investigators said Howard went to the 7-Eleven Store on Civic Center Drive and Las Vegas Boulevard demanding cash and got away.
"The suspect went in, held the clerks at gunpoint and one of the clerks attempted to fight back and during that struggle, that's when the clerk was shot," North Las Vegas Police officer Chrissie Coon said. "As the violence perpetuated over the last several weeks, it's very possible it would not have stopped until he killed somebody."
On April 17, nearly a month after the crime spree started, investigators said Howard brutally robbed and sexually assaulted an elderly woman in her own home.
The sexual assault incident is what North Las Vegas Police detectives needed to crack the case.
"The crimes that led up to this suspect's capture was very violent, they involved firearms, they involved injury to a clerk and involved a sexual assault," Coon said. "There really isn't anything that will give us any reason into why the violence but ultimately we wanted it to stop for the safety of the community."
Howard was re-booked on numerous felony charges this afternoon and is facing attempted murder, robbery and sexual assault charges.
The clerk that was shot is still recovering as is the 79-year-old woman.