LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas police tried for hours to negotiate a peaceful surrender with a 69-year-old casino robbery suspect, but it ended with SWAT officers shooting Michael Todd Lopez six times on Monday in a casino parking lot.
During a media briefing Thursday, police show images from two casinos where Lopez attempted to rob the cashier cages, but was unsuccessful. As he left the Aquarius hotel-casino, a security guard followed him to the parking lot and Lopez fired one round missing the guard. Lopez got into his truck in the parking lot and stayed there for hours in a standoff with police.
“Crisis negotiators talked to Lopez over the next several hours trying to get him to surrender peacefully,” Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly said.
Lopez, who was from Lake Havesu City, Arizona was shot after he exited his truck and headed toward officers.
“Suddenly Lopez reached into the backseat of his truck, pulled his handgun out and turned toward the officers,” said Assit. Sheriff Kelly.
Officer Cory Mikkelson, a SWAT sniper, stationed on a nearby roof shot Lopez once. Officer John Susich, who had been trying to negotiate with Lopez, fired five rounds as he moved toward officers who were taking cover behind a tactical vehicle. Lopez died at the scene.
According to police, Lopez had a criminal history, including convictions in Nevada and California for transporting stolen property, attempted robbery with a deadly weapon, robbery, attempted burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, and bank robbery.
If Lopez had survived, he would have been charged with two counts of attempted robbery, robbery with a deadly weapon, two counts burglary with a firearm, attempted murder with deadly weapon, multiple accounts of assault with a deadly weapon on a protected person, and a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.