LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An arrest report obtained by 8 News Now revealed what many witnesses said possibly led to a shooting that injured three at the Fashion Show Mall the evening of Jan. 21.
According to several interviews conducted by Metro Police, the suspect, 18-year-old Christopher Valenzuela-Olivas, and a friend became involved in an altercation before the shooting occurred. Detectives reported that Valenzuela-Olivas fired gunshots after a ‘trivial fight’.
One of the victims, a mall employee who was shot in the face, told police a group of three males was walking toward him when he saw a ‘larger’ male in the group punch one of the ‘smaller’ ones. The witness heard gunshots and ran back toward his kiosk when he discovered he’d been shot.
The second victim was sitting outside of Dillard’s waiting for his family to finish shopping when he heard shots fired. He ran to find his family and found he’d been shot, the report said. He was provided a wheelchair from a nearby business and was taken to an ambulance.
Victim/Witness No. 3:
A third victim told police, “two smaller Hispanic males’ started ‘talking sh*t’ to him.” According to the report, he ignored them at first, but then later both sides agreed to take the fight outside. As they rounded a corner into a hallway, the third victim punched one of the males in the face and a second male in the group took a gun and shot him in the face and chest.
Witness No. 4:
Detectives interviewed a witness who said she recognized the suspect and identified him to police as as ‘Chris.’ She was at the mall with friends when she saw someone she knew exchange a few words with suspect (Chris) before she and her group went back toward where they entered the mall and that is when she heard the gunshots, observed a flash from a gun but could not tell if the shot came from the suspect (Chris.)
Witness No. 5:
According to the report, another witness was walking through the mall, saw the two Hispanic males, one of the males looked back at him, they exchanged words and the shorter of the two males turned, pulled a handgun from his waist and fired multiple rounds at the group he was with.
The witness noted the shooter looked familiar.
Witness No. 6:
A sixth witness told police he was walking out of Victoria’s Secret with a group when they saw the same two Hispanic males walking. The witness reportedly recognized one of the males but did not know from where. They exchanged words, and the witness thought they were disrespectful, according to the report. The witness followed the males and allegedly argued with them over the disrespect. The witness heard gunshots, took cover and claimed he blacked out and was unable to see who was shooting.
Witness No. 7:
The final witness was shopping at the mall with her girlfriend when she reportedly saw a group of four Hispanic male juveniles and three females going down an escalator. She told police an argument began between the two “skinny” males in front of the group and a “heavy-set” male and his friend. According to the report, the witness followed the group to Dillard’s Department Store. She heard several gunshots when the group rounded a corner and saw the heavy set male and another person shot in the face.
The arrest report revealed that police obtained video sources that corroborated the victim and witness accounts as well as six distinct gunshots. Clear images of the suspect were sourced from the video, as well.
Police were able to identify Valenzuela-Olivas as the suspect by using witness parameters, records from the school year 2018-19, known photos and the positive identification of a vehicle that fled from the scene registered the suspect’s mother. Investigators also recovered the t-shirt the suspect was wearing as seen in surveillance video.
Valenzuela-Olivas was taken into custody during a traffic stop the morning of Jan. 22 after leaving a residence in the 3400 block of Emerald Creek. He was reportedly in possession of a semi-auto handgun when he was arrested.
The suspect confirmed to police he was at the Fashion Show Mall and that he and a friend became involved in a verbal argument and a fight. When police asked him about the shooting, the suspect reportedly asked for a lawyer.
Police recovered other items during a search warrant, including firearms and other gun accessories.
Valenzuela-Olivas faces three counts of attempted murder.
He recently posted a $100,000 bail and was allowed to leave the Clark County Detention Center and ordered to stay with his parents under high-level electronic monitoring.
In the arrest report, Metro noted the incident caused a ‘massive public safety’ response, with more than 100 police officers from numerous agencies, and the terrorization of hundreds of citizens.