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Neighbors Still Rattled After Two Standoffs | Crime

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Neighbors Still Rattled After Two Standoffs

CLARK COUNTY, Nev. -- Lives were on hold in two neighborhoods Thursday when Metro, Henderson and North Las Vegas Police faced armed gunmen in separate incidents. 

Police came to Eric Thatcher's house after reports he was threatening to take his life. A state official says Thatcher was a state fire marshal. Before that, he was a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper.

Thatcher had recently separated from his wife and his home was close to foreclosure. Police still aren't sure if he killed himself or was shot by their officers.

With SWAT teams aiming at Thatcher through neighborhood windows, the amount of damage is not surprising. But across the street, innocent neighbors were simply caught in the crossfire.

"Right as I was unlocking the door, that is when the first bullet come through our house. And we just heard it ricochet off the walls," said a neighbor.

The neighbor says the four hours she and her daughters spent hiding in their kitchen were horrifying.

"I made the girls get their shoes on so we could at least have an exit plan. We did not know what was going on," she said.

The damage from that day is obvious from the outside of their home.

"There are about six bullets that entered the house: three in the living room area up high and three in the closet. It went through the closet door," she said.

But the fear continues long after the bullets stopped.

Another neighbor, Julie Jones, says her two children are too little to understand the danger they were in.

"He kept saying, 'It is ok. It is ok.' He is only three, so I do not know if he could even comprehend what was going on," she said.

Once the gunshots began, Jones said she rushed her children upstairs to her closet and that is where they hid for hours.

"Every two minutes, there were like four rounds of shots and I was on the phone with family members the whole time and all they could hear the gunshots," she said.

While some homes were evacuated after the shooting began, many families were sheltered in place, which means they were stuck in their homes hiding for hours. 

Just a few hours later, another report of a suicidal man with a gun came in from northwest Las Vegas and homes near Durango and Grand Teton had to be evacuated. Nine hours after the standoff started, the man was found in the attic.


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