LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man is facing murder charges after he allegedly killed a man near Las Vegas Academy Thursday morning as high school students arrived at the downtown school to the sounds of gunfire.

According to Clark County Detention Center records, Major Sanford, 44, who was taken into custody near the scene is due to make his initial appearance in court Friday afternoon. He is facing the following charges:

  • Open murder with the use of a deadly weapon
  • Discharging a gun into an occupied structure (4 charges)
  • Possession of a gun by a prohibited person (2 charges)
  • Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit
Major Sanford, 44, is facing charges in the deadly shooting that occurred near Las Vegas Academy on Nov. 9, 2023. (LVMPD)

Police said in a release Sanford was seen shooting into the victim’s apartment and leaving the scene before he was detained.

Court records show that Sanford has a history of arrests in Clark County dating back to 2003 for theft, burglary, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and being an ex-felon with a deadly weapon, as well as other crimes. He even served time in the Nevada prison system.

Las Vegas Metropolitan police said officers responded to calls about several shots being fired in the area of the school shortly before the school opened for classes and arrested Sanford based on descriptions from witnesses.

Officers then found a man who was dead at a nearby apartment complex with a gunshot wound to his head.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Shannon K. Awa, 46. His cause of death was listed as multiple gunshot wounds with the manner being homicide.

Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact the LVMPD Homicide
Section by phone at 702-828-3521, or by email at To remain
anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555, or online.