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Police Probe White Supremacist Link to Las Vegas Shooting Spree

Police, FBI investigate murder of two police officers and another person, as evidence mounts that killings were 'politically-motivated'.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 6/9/2014, 11:19 AM

Murdered police officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo
Murdered police officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo
Reuters

Two police officers and another woman were shot dead in Las Vegas Sunday, in what police suspect was a political crime by white supremacists.

The two officers were named as Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, and were gunned down while they were eating outside a local pizza store at around 11:20 a.m. Sunday morning, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

The attackers - identified as a "tall white male" and a woman, both in their twenties - then moved on to a local Walmart, where they murdered an unnamed woman before taking their own lives.

But although police were originally unsure of a motive for the seemingly random killings, evidence is mounting that the attackers were motivated by radical neo-Nazi or white supremacist ideology - further raising concerns over the dangers of far-right terrorists in the US, less then two months after a former KKK leader went on an anti-Semitic shooting-spree in Missouri.

Systematic attack

According to reports, the female attacker first killed one of the officers as he went to refill his drink, approaching him from behind before shooting him in the head from point-blank range.

His fellow officer drew his weapon and managed to return fire but was gunned down immediately afterwards. Chillingly - and in the first of a series of indications that the killings were politically-motivated - at least one of the killers shouted "This is the start of the revolution!" before opening fire.

It is unclear whether the second officer managed to hit either of his attackers.

After taking the officers' weapons and badges, the couple draped their bodies in a sheet featuring the so-called "Gadsden flag" - which is sometimes associated with right-wing American groups - and moved on to the Walmart store, where they shouted at everyone to leave before reportedly exchanging fire with an armed member of the public. Unconfirmed reports claim one of the attackers was injured in that exchange.

After shooting dead one woman the female suspect reportedly shot and wounded her partner in an apparent attempt to kill him, before committing suicide herself. Her accomplice then took his own life.

By Sunday evening police and FBI investigators had located the apartment belonging to the two attackers not far from the scene of the shootings, and found what they described as white supremacist paraphernalia. Neighbors speaking to the press described the man as "militant" and fond of conspiracy theories, and described the couple as "weird".

Concerns over violent right-wing extremists in the US were raised back in April, when another white supremacist - former Ku Klax Klan leader Glenn Cross Jr. - murdered three people in an attack on Jewish institutions in Kansas City, Missouri.