Crime

Teenagers Suspected in Shooting on Las Vegas Strip Transferred to Nevada Jail

Two teenagers accused of gunning down a man on the Las Vegas Strip have been transported to Nevada from a California jail. The victim is paralyzed, authorities said.

Christian Miller, left, and David Preston were booked into jail in Las Vegas. They initially were taken into custody in California after a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, police said. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Christian Miller and David Preston, both 19, were arrested near Baker, California, about two hours after the Sept. 27 shooting near the Flamingo hotel-casino. The teenagers were brought back to Las Vegas last week on an arrest warrant, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Video recovered from the area shows two men arguing with another man about 11 pm on the sidewalk near the Flamingo hotel-casino. The two men are seen following the other man a short distance before shooting him in the chest near the Margaritaville restaurant, police said. The victim, who is from Washington state, is paralyzed, according to the newspaper.

Flamingo Locked Down

After the shooting, the suspects went quickly toward their room on the 18th floor of the Flamingo, police said. During a search for the gunmen, police locked down the Flamingo overnight for several hours.

Authorities were able to track down the two teenagers based on an encounter earlier that night in the Cromwell hotel-casino parking garage. The Cromwell is a boutique resort next door to the larger Flamingo.

A security guard reported seeing two men with a gun in the Cromwell garage about 9:30 pm, according to the newspaper. The guard alerted the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, known locally as Metro.

Police officers questioned Miller and Preston. But they released them because they did not fit the security guard’s description, the newspaper reported.

A review of the officers’ body camera video indicated Miller and Preston matched the shooting suspects’ descriptions, the newspaper reported. The two were seen in the video near a red Hyundai with California license plates. The California Highway Patrol later stopped the car near Baker for speeding at 94 mph. Based on information Metro had relayed to other agencies, troopers linked the car to the incident in Las Vegas.

During a search of the car, authorities recovered a weapon they believe was used in the shooting, according to a Metro police report.

The gun appeared to be a copy of a Glock, generically made with no serial number,” the report states.

The suspects were held in Adelanto, California, before being taken to Las Vegas. Miller is in custody without bail at the Clark County Detention Center. Preston was released on $25,000 bail.

Crackdown on Crime

The September shooting near the Flamingo is one of several recent gun incidents on the Las Vegas Strip.

One shooting was captured on videotape near the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino. In that incident, a man is seen on video pulling a handgun out of a dark backpack and shooting another man in the leg. Police said the shooting was related to a drug transaction. The video was posted on the KSNV-TV website.

A police captain recently told county officials that out-of-state gangs and visitors are responsible for “a good portion” of the surge in violence on the Strip and nearby tourist areas.

In response, Metro has stepped up its presence in those areas in a program the department calls Operation Persistent Pressure. The Nevada Highway Patrol is assisting in the effort.

Larry Henry

Gaming Regulation, Crime, Politics — Larry Henry is a veteran print and broadcast journalist who spent more than 16 years in Nevada, including serving as legislative reporter for the Reno Gazette-Journal and as political editor at the Las Vegas Sun. He's also written about popular culture for the Mob Museum in Las Vegas. As a broadcast journalist, he worked as managing editor at KFSM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Arkansas, where he now lives and where casino growth is a hot topic. A Marine Corps veteran and LSU graduate, he is also an avid movie fan, especially of classic film noir from the 1940s and ’50s.

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Larry Henry