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April 24, 2014

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Suspect who died in home invasion incident is identified

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Tovin Lapan

Police block off entry into La Ventana Apartment Homes, 2901 N. Rainbow Blvd., after a home invasion Monday morning, Dec. 24, 2012, left one suspect dead and three others on the run.

Updated Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 | 7:05 p.m.

Intruder shot

The Clark County Coroner’s Office has identified the suspect who died in a home invasion shooting on Christmas Eve as Maurice Howard, 35, of Los Angeles.

Howard was one of four suspects who police say tried to invade a first-floor apartment at the La Ventana Apartment Homes, 2901 N. Rainbow Blvd. Preliminary investigation indicates that three handgun-toting men accompanied by a woman knocked on the apartment door.

Police said the assailants barged into the apartment — occupied by a couple and their infant — after a woman answered the door. They then attempted to rob the occupants and beat both of them, police said.

After the suspects fled, the victims both grabbed handguns and followed them into the parking lot, police said. The victims then shot at the suspects, striking Howard multiple times.

Police arrived around 10:10 a.m. and found Howard suffering from a gunshot wound in the parking lot. He was transported to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The coroner’s office is still determining a cause of death.

The other three suspects escaped in a silver 2002 Infiniti sedan. Police said the car was found a short time later inside the apartment complex parking lot, but the three suspects remain missing.

The man and woman occupying the apartment suffered minor injuries from blunt force trauma and were treated at UMC. Police said nothing in the apartment appeared to have been stolen.

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  1. With the updated information I have to say the couple is in for a bit of trouble. The incident was effectively over and they continued it.

    Not only that, but it is now starting to sound like everyone knew each other and there is more to this story still.

  2. If your house is invaded, the law says you can't chase someone out of the house, off your property, and into a parking lot and shoot them...

    And, all things being equal, why would a mother and father **BOTH** give chase to four fleeing and armed suspects while leaving a baby behind in the house?? It all sounds very "personal"... doesn't it?

    I believe as boftx mentioned, "there is more to this story still."

  3. With all of the home invasions and robberies in Vegas, we should really have a castle law like Texas. You come in my house with an intent to murder, maim, or steal, I get to shoot at you without repercussions.

  4. Ashley Ashley, we do have such a law but you are not permitted, under the law, to chase down and kill the assailants. That's wrong. If you see a robbery, assault or burglary in progress, you are allowed to intercede or follow the suspect(s)and, if possible, hold them for police. So, why is a householder held to a different standard? Maurice Howard would be alive today if he & the others had not chosen to commit a criminal act. I have no sympathy for him.

  5. The people in the apartment were just as bad as the "assailants". Police say nothing was stolen...except the couples' drug stash and obviously wouldn't admit that to the cops. This was no random break-in. They all knew each other.

  6. Well we don't know if the victims were told the Perps would be back to finish the job or were coming back after giving the victims time to cash out at the ATM.... The threats on their lives may be of a continuing nature. While tis true that it sounds like the immediate danger was over, I'm not crying a river for the Perps. If they have any sense at all, they've hit the road and are not coming back to Vegas, Nevada or West Coast areas. Perhaps the victims can do community service for their adrenaline induced reactions? We should waste tax money, court time, costs to prosecute and incarcerate the victims for over - reacting? Let's get real. Not every guy and gal is fully versed in the limits to home defense / self defense law. Sounds like they helped Metro with real info on who would be associated with the Perp who died. Let's prosecute the other three Perps, if we can find them.

  7. "adrenaline induced reactions?" - if that is your standard for killing someone - you are no different than any other criminal murderer.

    Nothing was stolen from the home? You open the door on four gun totting men? Whether you knew they had guns or not - most reasonable people know NOT to open the door to four hooded men standing outside your home.

    The idea of owning a gun is to PREVENT harm - not for you to go around chasing people and shooting them. Typical criminal mentality - no different than any other law breaking criminal.

  8. "With the updated information I have to say the couple is in for a bit of trouble. The incident was effectively over and they continued it."

    "If your house is invaded, the law says you can't chase someone out of the house, off your property, and into a parking lot and shoot them..."

    "I think the couple will be a lot of trouble. Once the threat is over, you can't grab a gun, chase someone, and shoot them."

    boftx, Test_Guy, CreatedEQL -- since none of you were there we'll all have to wait and see. As boftx opined "and there is more to this story still."

    You all seem to have forgotten all citizens have the right to arrest, meaning use of necessary force to apprehend and detain the suspects until the police arrive to take them into custody. Who's to say that isn't what they were doing?

    "...we should really have a castle law like Texas."

    AshleyX2 -- Nevada may or may not. One must see how our Supreme Court has interpreted our Article 1, Sections 1 and 11. Start that @ http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Const/NVConst...

    "Ashley Ashley, we do have such a law but you are not permitted, under the law, to chase down and kill the assailants. That's wrong."

    lvfacts -- may she is, maybe she isn't. But as Bob_R implied, that's up to the jury, if it gets that far.

    "You gun rights people really wanna use this story as a pro-gun example??"

    Markey -- yup!

    "This was no random break-in. They all knew each other."

    Det-Munch -- and you get that from where exactly?

    "I agree with the poster above who said that the couple is probably in big trouble now, as well they should be if they took it to the parking lot."

    The_Next_O -- as in any case where one kills another, it should be investigated. See my bit above about citizens' arrest. I hope the Sun continues keeping us informed as the case develops.

    ".....For you to tacitly defend them, and thereby support guns in the process, speaks volumes."

    CreatedEQL -- yes it does. This volume says you're too eager to jump to conclusions then make up the facts to support the jump.

    "We should waste tax money, court time, costs to prosecute and incarcerate the victims for over - reacting? Let's get real."

    Roslenda -- good post, especially for reminding all the family were victims!

    "if they choose to arm themselves, they damn well better educate themselves on the laws regarding those firearms and self / home defense."

    The_Next_O -- assuming the threshold question here is whether or not the shootings were indeed self-defense, why? You ever face a violent home invader standing between him and your child? Until you do your posts on this issue are suppostional bunk.

    "...how little does the common herd know of the nature of right and truth." - Socrates in Plato's "Euthyphro" (399 B.C.E.?)

  9. "...most reasonable people know NOT to open the door to four hooded men standing outside your home."

    unlv -- where exactly do you get "four hooded men" from? Since the article doesn't mention what they were wearing, and one of the four home invaders was female, I'm calling you out here as just another buffoon who makes it up as you go along. Get a grip and try again.

    "Do you believe that your possessions are more valuable than another human's life? That is what is being ultimately debated."

    CreatedEQL -- no, it's not. You failed to mention the part about how the victims were beaten. Do try not to be such a buffoon here, starting with sticking to the facts.

    "I'm never too busy that I can't stop to enjoy someone else's suffering." -- the late, great George Carlin in "White Guys Who Shave Their Heads"

  10. unlv student 9:17: So it's heroic for a Metro officer to kill a Veteran who is not threatening because the cops don't talk to each other but not for the victims to preclude further attack? As I said, not every person out there has experience in these situations. Put me on the jury (and I've gone with death sentence results) and these victims won't do hard time. Sounds as if they performed a public service--no mistaken identity there. Or, do you want to leave room for a SLA kidnap Patricia Hearst situation where the one killed must have been kidnapped and forced to participate in the crime?

  11. created: I agree with you. However, "public" opinion is gonna go with the victims. You / they have no right to attack but it was certainly understandable in many circumstances--so I'm betting that even the DA will not try to indict unless it's to get a plea bargain and get the victims into rehab on their own dimes.

  12. "Not every guy and gal is fully versed in the limits to home defense / self defense law."

    What an asinine excuse. If you take the responsibility of owning a firearm you also have the responsibility of knowing the law regarding it's usage.

  13. "What an asinine excuse. If you take the responsibility of owning a firearm you also have the responsibility of knowing the law regarding it's usage."

    JerryWayne -- I got your excuses right here:

    "All men are by Nature free and equal and have certain inalienable rights among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; Acquiring, Possessing and Protecting property and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness[.]"

    "Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes."

    That's all the law one needs to know about firearm usage. Everything else is just bureaucrats' technicalities. It would be "asinine" not to recognize the source of these quotes!

    "If the exercise of constitutional rights will thwart the effectiveness of a system of law enforcement, then there is something very wrong with that system." -- Escobedo v. State of Illinois, 378 U.S. 478, 490 (1964)