Casino standoff

Las Vegas Metro Police SWAT team members use a robot to get information about an armed robbery suspect holed up in his vehicle during a 6-hour standoff Monday morning in the parking lot of the Aquarius Casino Resort. To watch video from the standoff, use your smartphone to scan the QR code.

LAUGHLIN — A man who attempted to rob two Laughlin casinos early Monday morning was killed by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers after he reportedly raised his firearm at them at the end of a  lengthy standoff.

According to the LVMPD, the man — who has yet to be identified — tried unsuccessfully to rob both the Golden Nugget Laughlin and the Aquarius Casino Resort, denied cash by employees at both properties.

LVMPD Capt. Nichole Splinter said, according to preliminary reports, the man entered the Golden Nugget around 1 a.m., placed a handgun on the counter at the cashiers’ cage and demanded money. When the cashier refused, he reportedly picked up the gun and left without further incident.

Metro officers were notified of the attempted robbery around 1:14 a.m. and responded to the Golden Nugget around the same time, according to a release from the Metro Public Information Office.

Splinter said that about 30 minutes later, the same man entered the Aquarius and followed the same routine: placing the gun on the counter and making a demand for cash. The result also was the same, Splinter said, as the cashier refused.

Splinter said that a security guard was in the vicinity and, when the gunman saw him, the gunman walked away. The cashier reported what had happened to the security guard who, in turn, notified his partners.

“The suspect fled out the parking lot and confronted one of the security officers in the parking lot, pointed the firearm at him and fired one round at the security officer,” Splinter said. “The security officer was not harmed.”

Security notified the LVMPD, which responded to the scene and, Splinter said, “as Metro officers arrived, they saw the subject get into a vehicle and they contained that vehicle in the parking lot. For several hours ... they negotiated with the subject to safely end the situation... .”

Splinter said a SWAT team was dispatched.

The SWAT team employed a robot to approach the vehicle to gain more information about the man, the vehicle and the situation while officers continued negotiations.

“Just after 7 this morning, the subject came out of the vehicle with the firearm in his hand and pointed it at our officers,” she said. “Our officers fired upon the subject.”

The release from Metro later Monday afternoon added some detail to the events, stating that the man exited the vehicle, then reached back inside for his gun, raising and pointing it as he lurched toward officers.

It isn’t certain how many officers fired or how many times the man was struck; the release said that officers fired “multiple rounds.”

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The name of the gunman is being withheld for 48 hours as is the officer or officers involved in the shooting. Las Vegas Metro Police will announce the name of the suspect and the officers involved then in a more detailed press briefing in Las Vegas. LVMPD will release body camera video footage in 72 hours after investigators have an opportunity to view it, posting it on Metro’s website, Facebook, and on its YouTube channel.

“We’re thankful that no employees or guests were injured, and no Metro officers were injured, during the whole event,” said Sean Hammond, general manager of the Aquarius Casino Resort. “Again, we’re just glad that none of our team or guests was injured.”

Hammond praised Aquarius employees for their handling of the situation.

“Yes, they did” what they were supposed to do, he said. “The entire team that was involved with it, from the cashier to the security guards, they all performed their jobs professionally.”

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