Witnesses to the mass shooting that killed two Las Vegas police officers and a Walmart shopper Sunday say the murderers shouted: "This is the start of a revolution." We now know what kind of revolution they had in mind, Gadsden flag and all.
The as-yet unnamed man-and-woman killing duo, decked out in paramilitary gear and vowing to do "the next Columbine," were right-wing anti-government militants who dabbled in white supremacist movements and bragged about camping out with other armed activists at the Cliven Bundy ranch standoff last spring, according to the Las Vegas Sun:
Residents at an apartment complex where it appeared the two lived together said they had a reputation for spouting racist, anti-government views, bragging about their gun collection and boasting that they'd spent time at Cliven Bundy's ranch during a recent standoff there between armed militia members and federal government agents.
The duo also told people they planned to commit a mass shooting, said Brandon Moore, a resident of the complex.
"They were handing out white-power propaganda and were talking about doing the next Columbine," Moore said...
Residents who spoke about the assailants all mentioned the couple's relationship with Bundy.
Oak Tree resident Sue Hale said the two told her they were in Bunkerville during the standoff, which occurred in April after federal authorities began conducting a roundup of Bundy's cattle. Bundy had defied the government by grazing the cattle on public land without a permit.
"Yap, yap, yap. They were always running their mouths," Hale said.
The married couple first killed two police officers and took their guns from a Cici's Pizza before holing up in a Walmart across the street, where they killed one bystander before eventually turning their guns on themselves, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation:
Witnesses told police one of the shooters yelled "This is the start of a revolution" before shooting the officers. Gillespie later said he could not confirm that.
The shooters then stripped the officers of their weapons and ammunition and badges, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. They then covered the officers with something that featured the Gadsden flag, a yellow banner with a coiled snake above the words, "Don't tread on Me."
The flag is named for Christopher Gadsden a Revolutionary War general who designed it. It has recently come back in vogue as an adopted symbol of the American tea party movement....
The Review-Journal, too, got a similar sketch of the murderers from neighbors at their apartment complex:
Several neighbors identified the man as Jared, while one called the woman Amanda.
Like many of the neighbors contacted, Krista Koch said she didn't know the couple's last names. She described them as "militant." They talked about planning to kill police officers, "going underground" and not coming out until the time was right to kill.
Brandon Monroe, 22, has lived in the complex for about two weeks. He said the man who lived in the apartment that was being searched often rambled about conspiracy theories. He often wore camouflage or dressed as Peter Pan to work as a Fremont Street Experience street performer. A woman lived with him, Monroe said, but he didn't see her as often.
They were weird people, Monroe said, adding that he thought the couple used methamphetamine.
As the families of the deceased mourned Sunday, the Review-Journal contacted Carol Bundy, wife of the racially insensitive and historically unattuned rancher whose Bunkerville standoff with state and federal law enforcement became ground zero for anti-government, pro-gun activists in April.
Carol Bundy argued that there couldn't be a connection between the Las Vegas rampage and the battle of Bunkerville. "I have not seen or heard anything from the militia and others who have came to our ranch that would, in any way, make me think they had an intent to kill or harm anyone," she said.
[Image via AP]