Police: Monks escape gunfire fleeing Buddhist temple fire

Local News

NORTH LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — At least three Buddhist monks dodged gunfire and escaped from flames after their temple came under attack from a man who later killed himself, according to North Las Vegas Police.

Authorities say a 38-year-old man set fires Sunday night around 8 p.m. at the Thai Buddhist Temple-Las Vegas the 2900 block of W. Gowan Road and at a neighboring home.

North Las Vegas Police officers were dispatched on a call of multiple fires and the sounds of gunshots ringing out in the air. When officers arrived, they saw three people fleeing from the religious campus.  

North Las Vegas firefighters extinguished two fires at the temple before responding to another fire call at a neighboring home on the 3000 block of Logan Avenue. 

“I still haven’t been asleep. I’m just like, why did he pick my house? You know what I’m saying, like, I’m ready to move,” said Joyce Holmes, victim and owner of the home on Logan. “I don’t feel safe here anymore.”

Holmes said the fire destroyed part of her house. Her front door and window are now boarded up. Three kids were inside when the fire started, including her grandson.

“To be honest, I don’t really know. I was just scared, terrified,” said Antoine Washington, Holmes’ grandson.

SLIDESHOW: Fire damage to the Buddhist temple and house

North Las Vegas Police later learned that the man who started the house fire was the same individual who sparked the flames at the Thai Buddhist Temple.

Although police have not officially identified the suspect, 8 News Now has confirmed with police sources that the man seen in the video below is responsible for Sunday night’s chaos. He is seen in the video holding a handgun.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) joined the investigation and helped in search for the suspect. 

The suspect was later found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to call the North Las Vegas Police Department at 702-633-9111 or, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

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