Homicides reveal prior connections


August has been a deadly month across the valley with 17 homicides in Metro Police jurisdiction so far. Las Vegas residents, however, may be safer than they think.

The head of Metro’s Homicide division says most of the victims knew their killers. Some were domestic related. Others had drug connections.

Chris Williams lives on a normally quiet block in the Mountain’s Edge neighborhood. That silence was disrupted Thursday, when a man was shot to death and robbed in his garage.

“It’s unfortunate that, as a society, we see that as an option that I’m going to take that person’s life,” Williams said. “Our kids play in the street. It’s really close to home.”

While police searched for suspects, Williams says he locked his doors.

“It’s kind of crazy,” he said.

August has been a busy month for homicide detectives. Metro Police Lieutenant Dan McGrath, who heads the department’s Homicide division, talked with 8 News NOW about the cases.

“It’s unpredictable, and it’s hard to say what’s going on,” he said. “(It is) the most serious crime you can deal with.”

Out of 17 homicides this month, he says one may be random, when a suspect robbed and killed an elderly man in his home.

Police say, in the other cases, there was a relationship between the victim and killer, or drugs were involved.

“It is still a loss of a life and, from our perspective, it’s a murder,” McGrath said. “It’s a homicide investigation, and every life is important.”

Police revealed there may be a drug connection for the shooting death in Mountain’s Edge. Metro released video and pictures Friday of men detectives want to talk with.

8 News NOW has learned the suspects may have followed the victim to his home before killing him.

“Whether it’s random or planned, we just need to come together and try to help each other to prevent stuff like this from happening,” Williams said.

Lt. McGrath says one way to prevent a homicide is by calling police if you hear something suspicious, such as a neighbor screaming or yelling.

He says, in some recent cases, if police were called earlier, the outcome may have been different.

Out of the 17 homicide cases in August, police say 12 are considered solved.

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