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Las Vegas police say man shot wife dead at west valley market

Updated January 6, 2018 - 10:54 pm

Las Vegas police said a woman died Saturday evening after her estranged husband walked into a west Las Vegas Valley market where she worked and shot her multiple times.

The man then sat down and shot himself in the head about 6:25 p.m. inside the Herbst Market, 9475 W. Desert Inn Road, Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Dan McGrath said Saturday night.

He was taken to University Medical Center in critical condition, McGrath said.

The woman, a cashier at the market, died at the scene.

“Don’t know what made him get to this point, but apparently they’ve been having some issues,” said McGrath, adding the couple had been separated for about three months, and other store employees knew of their issues.

“It’s very disturbing,” McGrath said.

Police determined the husband and wife were the only ones involved. Metro checked on other family members’ safety, McGrath said, adding they were uninjured. The woman has two sons, but it wasn’t clear whether the husband was their father.

She was in her 40s. The Clark County coroner’s office will release her identity her once her family is notified.

At least eight people were inside the market during the shooting, McGrath said. Most only heard the gunshots, and a couple of witnesses saw the man with the gun but not the shooting itself.

Regina Heatt, of Las Vegas, said she was playing a slot machine in the market’s gaming area when shots rang out.

She said she was scared because she could not tell where they were coming from.

“I’ll never forget it,” Heatt said, adding that she was thinking, “I don’t want to die” as the incident unfolded.

Witnesses Bethanie Johnson and Misty Tanabe said they saw a man covered in blood taken away in an ambulance.

The two said they were going to fill up their vehicle at the market’s gas pumps when a man told them to get away because it was not safe.

The man, Mike Schaefer, said he was filling his pickup truck at the pumps when he saw a single patrol car sitting outside the market transform into “sirens and cop cars coming from every fricking direction.”

Schaefer, a 59-year-old retired law enforcement officer, said he saw a police officer armed with a rifle approach the market’s entrance.

The shooting also brought back a harrowing memory for 32-year-old Brittany Fernandez, who said she was waiting in the car, along with four kids, for her husband who was inside the store when the shooting occurred.

In August 2016, her husband had been shot in the hip outside a gas station in North Las Vegas, Fernandez said.

“Oh, my God. This is happening again,” she recalled thinking as the shooting occurred Saturday.

Fernandez couldn’t reach him, she said, because he had left his cellphone in the car.

As of 8:30 p.m., Fernandez said she still hadn’t spoke with him because police were interviewing him along with other witnesses, but had learned he was safe after a brief conversation with a Metro officer.

Her husband had been in the bathroom when the shooting occurred, the officer told her.

Later Saturday night, the couple reunited.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.