Law enforcement officials in Las Vegas have named a married couple, Jared Miller and Amanda Woodruff Miller, as the two people behind Sunday's shooting spree in a Las Vegas shopping center.
A spokesperson for the Sheriff's Department described the two as being motivated by the idea that "law enforcement is the oppressor" and social media postings by the two reinforced earlier reporting that the assailants held deeply anti-government views.
A post on Jared Miller's Facebook page on Saturday, June 7, carried this ominous message: "The dawn of a new day. May all of our coming sacrifices be worth it."
Most of his previous postings were based around anti-government themes including numerous references to guns laws and the recent standoff at the ranch of Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management. Several times on his Facebook page, Miller talks about being at the Bundy ranch.
In what appeared to be a personal diatribe, Miller posted this message on his Facebook page on June 2:
We can hope for peace. We must, however, prepare for war. We face an enemy that is not only well funded, but who believe they fight for freedom and justice. Those of us who know the truth and dare speak it, know that the enemy we face are indeed our brothers. Even though they share the same masters as we all do. They fail to recognize the chains that bind them. To stop this oppression, I fear, can only be accomplished with bloodshed. May the best men of our beloved nation stand and fight tyranny, without fear and without regret. May we stand proud as free men instead of kneeling as slaves. May we offer our children a free and just world with our blood, sweat and tears as payment. Let our wives and lovers take vengeance upon our enemies in our absence. We cannot fail in this endeavor of Liberty, if we do we risk leaving our orphaned children to the will of tyrants. We, cannot with good conscience leave this fight to our children, because the longer we wait, our enemies become better equipped and recruit more mercenaries of death, willing to do a tyrants bidding without question. I know you are fearful, as am I. We certainly stand before a great and powerful enemy. I, however would rather die fighting for freedom, than live on my knees as a slave. Let it be known to our children's children that free men stood fast before a tyrants wrath and were found victorious because we stood together. That we all cast aside our petty differences and united under the banner of Liberty and Truth. May future generations look back upon this time in history with awe and gratitude, for our courage to face tyranny, so that they could live happy and free.
Amanda Miller's Facebook page was less overtly political and conspiratorial, but contained numerous photos of the couple together, including the picture at right which shows the pair dressed as comic book villians.
At Mother Jones, Dana Liebelson explores comments posted by Miller on Infowars, the conspiracy-laden website maintained of Alex Jones, as a way to offer insight into the gunman's specific attitude towards police officers and "the deeply personal roots of his hatred of government."
And according to CNN:
A woman who says she lived near the couple told [local] affiliate KTNV that the married couple liked to dress up as the villainous Batman characters Joker and Harley Quinn.
The neighbor, Krista Koch, told the station the man also sometimes dressed as Slenderman, a fictional horror character that recently surfaced in the stabbing of a 12-year-old girl in Wisconsin.
Koch also told the station the couple had told her they were going to carry out an attack, but she thought they were "crazy," so she dismissed what they said.
The perpetrators in Las Vegas who shot and killed three people on Sunday—including two police officers gunned down while eating lunch in a pizzeria—were reportedly members of the white supremacy movement who espoused rabid anti-government and racist views.
Local news outlets report that the two shooters, a man and a woman, shot two officers at CiCi's Pizza in a local shopping complex before fleeing to nearby Walmart where they killed a civilian bystander near the store entrance. Later, they took their own lives as police moved in.
As the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:
One officer was reported dead at the scene, while the other died later in surgery at University Medical Center.
Witnesses told police one of the shooters yelled “This is the start of a revolution” before shooting the officers. [Sheriff Doug 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.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, the couple—whose names have not yet been officially released but lived in their area—had a reputation among their neighbors "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."
Brandon Moore, who lived in the apartment complex where the assailants are believed to have lived, told the Sun journalist that the couple "were handing out white-power propaganda and were talking about doing the next Columbine."
The Sun adds:
Sara Andrea, a resident of the complex, said the assailants were known to walk around town dressed as the Batman comic book characters The Joker and Harley Quinn.
"No one associated (with them), but everyone knew these people," she 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.