Friends of the armed man shot and killed by Green Valley Ranch security guards Monday say he had fallen on hard times.
Shannon Michael Howell, 53, died during the confrontation at the Henderson casino resort.
Friends say the man they knew is completely different than the man described by police. They say he never intended to hurt other people in the casino but they believe he did want to end his own life.
Brandi Stevens wipes away tears talking about her friend, Shannon Michael Howell who she says went by Michael or Mike.
“He was really somebody that would just do anything to make someone smile,” Stevens said.
She is still wrapping her mind around how he died.
Henderson Police say on New Year’s Day, Green Valley Ranch security guards shot and killed Howell after he pulled out a gun.
“I think he went in there and did exactly what he intended to do … suicide by an officer of some kind,” Stevens said.
She says Howell had a rough year after losing his home and job. Last time she spoke to him, he was also estranged from his teenage son.
“It gets better. Nothing is worth that, ever. I mean you can change your life,” Stevens said.
She says she knows because she’s been there.
Stevens and Howell had not been friends for long but he came into her life when she needed someone the most.
She admits having suicidal thoughts after separating from her husband.
“He’s the reason I’m still here right now probably and I wished I could have been that reason for him.”
8 News Now sources say Howell had a suicide note on him the afternoon of the shooting. Friends say he also left letters behind for those closest to him.