LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Steven Colburn, 59, a grandfather and homeless Army veteran, likely saved his friend’s life while losing his.
The man who shot and killed Colburn remains on the run.
For the first time since the 2019 shooting, Colburn’s friend, Lynn Prindle, returned to the scene of the crime with the I-Team’s David Charns.
“When I looked over at him, he was like, boom, boom, boom, right on top of Steven,” Prindle said, recalling the night of August 19, 2019.
Prindle had parked her car on North Thom Boulevard, just north of the North Las Vegas Airport. Colburn was sitting in the passenger seat.
The grandfather slept on a concrete block near the end of the street by the Hideaway bar.
“He was harmless,” Prindle said about her friend. “He was just a homeless veteran. He was my buddy.”
Prindle had met Colburn several years prior, when Colburn was working as a caretaker in Prindle’s neighborhood. He had fallen on hard times, Prindle said, and she would often meet him and share a bite to eat.
Around 10:45 p.m. on the night of the murder, Prindle and Colburn were sitting in her car when a man walked up to the driver’s side window and demanded money.
“And we looked at each other because we basically don’t really have any money,” Prindle shared. “You know, most of the time, Steven might have had $30, $40 in his top pocket, but he wasn’t about to give it up.”
Grainy video from across the street recorded the 50-second interaction: The man walks up to the car, both Prindle and Colburn get out, Prindle walks to the back of the car with a gun drawn to her head, and Colburn runs.
“Steven took off running. The guy looked, and he looked again, and he took the gun away from my head and took off running, jumped over a few of these bushes and was shooting, boom, boom,” Prindle recounted.
Photos from investigators show shell casings in the parking lot next to Colburn’s sleeping spot. He likely saved Prindle’s life.
“I’m sure he did,” she said. “I’m sure he did.”
“He’s sitting there with a friend, who’s providing him food,” Metro Police Lt. Ray Spencer said. “I mean, this is a guy that has done nothing wrong.”
Spencer, head of Metro’s Homicide Unit, said there is no link between Colburn and the shooter, making the case all the more difficult to piece together. Even with a suspect description and video, there is not much to go on.
“We’re looking for such a generic description,” Spencer explained. “I have a Black male in his late teens to early 20s. That’s a hard case to solve. No one can identify him from running down the street.”
Prindle said after the man shot Colburn, he ran toward a housing complex, just north of the airport.
“I miss him. I really do,” she said about her friend. She told the I-Team she hopes someone remembers the story or may have seen something from that summer night.
While she could not see his face, she said she remembers one thing about her friend’s killer.
“Very angry,” she said. “Very angry … He just wanted the money. That’s it.”
Metro believes the suspect is a thin, Black man who is between 25 and 35-years-old.
Tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 702-385-5555 or on their website.
I-Team Vegas Unsolved: