LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — 29 hours. The longest standoff in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s history ended peacefully thanks to the patience and training of dozens of staff who are being celebrated for their bravery.
The department honored members of its Crisis Negotiator Team during an awards ceremony last Thursday. The honorees range from the lieutenant who headed the operation to officers and investigative specialists.
“We knew we were dealing with a violent, armed committed individual with two strangers being held hostage and the stakes don’t get any higher than that,” said Lt. Nate Chio.
Police arrested Antonio Barry-Edwards, 24, of Las Vegas, in late May when he surrendered at the Highland Inn Motel near Dean Martin Drive and Blue Diamond Road. Barry-Edwards is suspected of killing two people on Mother’s Day and then stealing a car.
Around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 26, an officer noticed a stolen SUV and motorcycle in front of the motel, an arrest report for Barry-Edwards said. The officer then saw Barry-Edwards get on the motorcycle. The officer attempted to stop Barry-Edwards from getting away and a fight ensued, according to the report.
During the scuffle, Barry-Edwards is accused of reaching for a gun he had inside his vest, so the officer “kicked Antonio two times in the head, which caused Antonio to become startled and lose his balance,” the report said. Barry-Edwards then went into Room 113 of the motel and barricaded himself inside.
“And then we found out the shots came from not the room he was in, but the room next door,” Chio said.
Within the first hour, police said Barry-Edwards sawed a hole into the next room, taking a 4-year-old boy and his babysitter hostage.
The young woman and the child were able to escape to the room’s bathroom and hide in a bathtub, but Barry-Edwards would not let them leave, she told police.
After about three hours, Barry-Edwards allowed the 4-year-old to exit the room through the hole, where he was safely met by officers, the report said. However, Barry-Edwards did not allow the babysitter to leave until the next day.
“It’s not every day that someone’s able to get through that second room — that wall,” Chio said. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow. We are very fortunate it didn’t get any worse.’”
According to his arrest report, police said Barry-Edwards fired five rounds at officers who were inside the next room after the hostages were released.
“We quickly realized as SWAT was doing the evacs and he started shooting at our SWAT officers and that obviously raised the stakes up a lot higher, Chio said.
It was a routine call that turned out to be anything but.
“There’s nothing more high stakes and this is what we train for on an everyday basis,” Chio said. “Very proud of my team. Very proud of the SWAT team and our department as a whole. We were very patient with this guy.”
In all, Barry-Edwards faces more than three dozen charges in connection with the standoff, the two homicides and other crimes across the valley.
The I-Team first confirmed Barry-Edwards is a suspect in a homicide involving a burned car on May 9. Sandra Cruz-Lopez, 39, was found dead in the car near Lake Mead Boulevard and Los Feliz Street.
In another homicide case, Barry-Edwards is accused of shooting and killing Eric Mosley, 31, in a trailer in North Las Vegas on the same day. Police said Mosley was killed in a parking lot near North Las Vegas Boulevard and Griswold Street.
Barry-Edwards’s trial is scheduled to start next February.
The 4-year-old boy and the babysitter are not being named to protect their privacy.
Names of Metro award honorees:
- Lt. Nathan Chio
- Sgt. Donald Fieselman
- Sgt. Andrew Hefner
- Sgt. Jeremy Melvin
- Sgt. Kashif Summers
- Sgt. Vashon Trotter (recently promoted to Lt.)
- Officer Michael Amburgey
- Officer Elliott Castile
- Officer MaryLou Crocker
- Officer Lisa Eagan
- Officer Michelle Funes
- Officer Ryan Halasi
- Officer Steven Hutchason
- Officer Derek Jappe
- Officer Hussain Moghadam
- Officer Erik Morris
- Officer Eric Myrold
- Officer Eduardo Pazos
- Officer Antonio Scott
- Officer John Shevlin
- Officer Ronnel Sioson
- Officer Theodore Snodgrass
- Officer Julia Tafesh
- Officer Timothy Townley
- Officer John Woosnam
- Investigative Specialist Kathryn Redmann