A gunman wearing a helmet and carrying an “AR-15 style rifle” was caught on camera at the entrance of an upscale Las Vegas apartment complex before an armed employee of the building opened fire and stopped him in his tracks.
Questions on how the incident played out remained unanswered for days as media coverage was minimal despite the worker having foiled what appeared to be a mass shooting attempt, Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Amy Swearer claimed.
“Normally when you have some sort of video like this, especially when it’s what appears to be an active shooting situation, that’s something that makes national news. I’ve never seen that not pick up steam of some sort,” Swearer told Fox News Digital.
“What’s bizarre here is the hand waving, ‘Nothing to see here. Move along, folks,’” Swearer continued.
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At about 3:15 pm Friday, June 23, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department received a call regarding a shooting at Turnberry Towers Las Vegas, which is located about a 10-minute walk from the Strip.
The suspect, identified as Andrew Warrender, walked toward the main lobby of the apartment complex at 3:13 p.m., according to the arrest report citing surveillance footage, and allegedly shot his weapon at an employee. He attempted to fire another shot but appeared to have a malfunction. He aimed his weapon again at the employee, but no bullet was discharged.
Warrender then walked toward the front entrance to leave the apartment complex, but was shot by the employee. The employee held Warrender at gunpoint with his Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun until police arrived, saying he “felt everyone’s life in the area was in danger” and “he used deadly force to protect innocent citizens.”
Information on the case, however, was scarce between June 23 until June 28. There were bare-bones news articles immediately after it happened, reporting that two people were involved in a shooting and the public was not in immediate danger.
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A couple of local outlets that reported a “hero” employee thwarted the suspect relied on witness testimony as police didn’t confirm the details. The police department additionally did not confirm to The Daily Signal on June 27 if a “hero” with a gun thwarted the shooting.
“I could understand why there’s not this immediate asking of questions… it’s just sort of ‘Move along,’ but the question becomes: Why are the police framing it that way?” Swearer said. “And maybe they don’t know, but it seems pretty clear that by the next day, when you see this video start coming out, it seems very clear that there’s something else going on here.”
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“And even then with these follow-up stories, even within the media itself, you still have this framing of ‘Oh, well, he just stopped it. A hero employee who did this hero thing that we’re not going to go into detail about,'” Swearer said.
Swearer said the video of Warrender that has circulated online has the earmarks of an intended mass shooting. It remains unclear what the shooter’s motives or intentions were.
“Generally speaking, when you have somebody in a public space with a rifle, who just begins firing, not at a specific person… he’s just like firing into glass doors,” she said. That has all of the earmarks… of someone who is bent on a serious form of violence against more than one person.”
Swearer said “normally” when video circulates of an individual in a public place holding a rifle, it makes “national news.”
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“I’ve never seen that not pick up steam of some sort,” Swearer said.
Other cases where an armed citizen thwarted an active shooter, for example, have received widespread attention in the past, including last summer when Indiana man Elisjsha Dicken shot a mass shooter at a mall, preventing further loss of life.
Police confirmed a “good Samaritan” thwarted the shooting just hours after it unfolded, and the story dominated news headlines for days. That case did differ from Las Vegas as four people, including the shooter, died.
On June 28, local outlets and Fox News Digital were able to get more information on the case when police began releasing Warrender’s arrest report.
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The report confirmed that an employee of Turnberry Towers who worked both security and deliveries shot Warrender and was not a suspect in the case. His name was redacted from the reports reviewed by Fox News Digital.
The unidentified employee told police that at about 2:50 on the day of the shooting, a valet employee at the hotel alerted him that Warrender was “about to point a firearm at him.” The armed security guard who thwarted the suspect told police he is not asked to carry a firearm while at work, but “chooses to do so on his own free will.” The employee had the Smith & Wesson in a holster on his waist with additional ammunition on his person, according to the report.
Police said the employee discharged “12-13 rounds at Warrender causing him to fall down and drop the rifle,” the arrest report states. Warrender was ultimately arrested and transported to a nearby hospital for his wounds.
The suspect was additionally known to employees at the apartment complex, as he would frequently stay with his uncle who lived there. On the day of the shooting, employees noted to police that Warrender was “not acting like as his normal self” and had “a blank stare” when on the apartment’s property.
Investigators initially thought Warrender had injured his uncle prior to the shooting, but found an empty apartment upon investigation. They did find an empty black case in the master bedroom, which reportedly held the rifle.
Swearer said in a Twitter thread on June 27, before the arrest report was reported, that it appeared the police department wanted to downplay the crime as to not highlight that a “good guy with a gun” prevented a tragedy.
“Four days, and LVPD apparently doesn’t think it’s important to clarify basic facts of an incident that would probably garner national attention. They’d prefer you just move along, folks, because what does it matter if a good guy with a gun saved lives?,” Swearer wrote.
Warrender was charged with attempted murder, two counts of assault with the use of a deadly weapon, and illegally discharging a gun.
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