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November 27, 2014

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Two officers, three others dead in shootings at restaurant, Wal-Mart

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Steve Marcus

Metro Police are seen outside a Wal-Mart on Nellis Boulevard between Charleston Boulevard and Stewart Avenue, where two people allegedly fired shots after shooting two officers at a nearby CiCi’s Pizza. The suspects then killed themselves.

Updated Sunday, June 8, 2014 | 7 p.m.

Metro Officers Slain: 6/8/14

Metro Police are seen outside a Wal-Mart on Nellis Boulevard between Charleston Boulevard and Stewart Avenue, where two people allegedly fired shots after shooting two officers at a nearby CiCi's Pizza. The suspects then killed themselves. Launch slideshow »

BREAKING: 5 Dead, Including 2 Officers In Vegas

Metro officers shot at CiCi's Pizza

Two suspects declaring the start of "a revolution" shot and killed two police officers this morning at a pizza restaurant on Nellis Boulevard, then ran into a nearby Wal-Mart and shot at least one other person before killing themselves, according to Metro Police.

Sheriff Douglas Gillespie, in an afternoon news conference, identified the dead officers as Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31. The two were patrol officers in the area.

"What precipitated this event, we do not know," a subdued Gillespie said. "My officers were simply having lunch when the shooting started."

He did not identify the dead assailants or the victim shot in the Wal-Mart.

A woman who said she witnessed the start of the bloodshed described an execution-style assault on two officers who were eating pizza and probably never saw the attack coming.

Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill said the two suspects ambushed and shot the two officers shortly before 11:30 a.m. at the CiCi's Pizza at 309 N. Nellis Blvd., near Stewart Avenue. Officer Larry Hadfield, a Metro spokesman, said one of the suspects yelled, "This is a revolution." Gillespie, however, said at the news conference he could not confirm the revolution comment.

One of the officers was able to fire back during the ambush, Gillespie said. The assailants then took the officers' ammunition and reportedly ran inside the Wal-Mart on Nellis Boulevard between Charleston Boulevard and Stewart Avenue. A number of responding officers followed the suspects into the store, McMahill said.

There, the assailants shot and killed at least one person inside the front door of the store. They exchanged gunfire with police inside the store before the female suspect shot the male suspect and then killed herself.

McMahill described the assailants' lives ending an an "apparent suicide pact."

Sheree Burns, 48, said she left church early, lured by the all-you-can-eat pizza for $5.55 at CiCi’s. She said she was seated just behind the two officers, who already were eating.

A man came up to one of the officers — a balding man — and shot him in the head, Burns said. Instinctively, Burns ducked under her table but peeked up to see who she thought was a woman shoot the other officer in the head.

Burns said she saw the male assailant — whom she described as tall with scruff on his face — hovering over the balding officer and remove his handgun from his holster. The two assailants then left CiCi’s, en route to the Wal-Mart, Burns learned after talking to police.

“I’ll never leave church early again,” Burns said.

McMahill said there were "literally a thousand" witnesses to the midday events at the busy shopping center.

"It is a very complex, very dynamic crime scene," he said.

Inside the Wal-Mart, Mayra Calvillo, 19, was working near the front of the store when she heard someone yell, “Get out of Wal-Mart!” Calvillo said she turned around and saw a man with a handgun raised in the air. The man, whom Calvillo described as white and dressed in a navy blue shirt, jean shorts and a hat, fired at least one round.

Calvillo described the unfolding scene as surreal. She said she started to run, then realized she needed to help direct the store’s customers safely out of the store.

Others described a pandemonium-filled scene.

Jesus Bustamante, 26, said he was in the electronics section of the store when he heard a muzzled sound and people screaming, “It’s a shooting! It’s a shooting!”

Bustamante said he wasn’t sure whether to run out or take cover in the store, but he saw a Metro officer run past him saying, “Get the (expletive) out of here!”

Bustamante said those trying to get out of the store was typical for a busy Wal-Mart: elderly, children, parents.

A mother at the scene who asked not to be identified said she was in a dressing room with her 7-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son, who were looking for outfits for a relative's graduation. The mother said she heard two gunshots followed by pandemonium breaking out inside the store.

Her first thought: How do we get out alive?

She said she immediately grabbed her children and sprinted out a backdoor near the changing room.

Once outside the store, she said she saw police officers swarming near the CiCi's and heard bystanders screaming that two officers had been shot.

Alex Estrada, who was at an IHOP nearby, said he saw a crowd of about 30 to 40 people run out the backdoor of Wal-Mart around 11:30, and people on the streets and at nearby businesses were talking about the incident.

Still dazed from the midday events, Burns stood outside Applebee's a few blocks away awaiting a ride home. When her friend arrived, Burns wept into her arms.

"I saw it all," Burns said.

Residents of the area had mixed feelings about where they lived. A few employees at a nearby restaurant said it didn't surprise them. A schoolteacher who has lived here 13 years said, "It can happen anywhere."

Calvillo, who has worked for 11 months at the Wal-Mart, expressed similar sentiments.

“I’m still in shock. I feel like it hasn’t hit me yet. I’m scared. I don’t feel safe anymore,” she said.

Nell Jones and her daughter, JaNell, have lived here for two years. They are getting out in August.

Almost nightly, Nell said, Metro helicopters — "ghetto birds" — pass overhead, presumably on a suspect’s tail.

"It's all these gang-bangers," Nell said angrily.

Metro has doubled up its officers on patrol while officers gather more information about the shooting. Officers also are wearing badges shrouded with black ribbons in honor of their deceased colleagues.

The media wasn't initially allowed into the entrance of University Medical Center Trauma, where some victims of the shooting had been rushed in. Metro put police tape around the entrance, just north of Charleston Boulevard, and a large Command Center utility vehicle from the North Las Vegas Police Department was parked nearby, its telescopic antenna jutting into the air.

The police tape came down around 5:30 p.m.

Capt. William Scott, who oversees Bolden Area Command, which is just north of U.S. 95 and abuts the command area where the shootings took place, said tough times would be coming as officers ponder the senseless act.

"We'll talk a lot about this," he said of himself and his officers. "We will always have each other's backs."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.