LAS VEGAS – A woman who said her relatives were the six people wounded in an overnight shooting that left one man dead at a Las Vegas apartment complex said gunfire erupted minutes after police warned people partying late Thursday on a third-floor balcony to leave.
“It just escalated. We were all drinking,” said Maria Guzman, a tenant who lives next-door to an apartment where crime scene investigators spent Friday morning collecting evidence inside a unit and on the balcony.
“They told me to get my nephews inside or someone was going to jail,” Guzman told The Associated Press. “I put them all inside. Then, they pushed out the door.”
A woman who stopped to talk before taking her children to school said she saw at least 10 people on the balcony drinking and arguing for several hours before fighting started, and then shooting.
“Everyone was intoxicated,” Nikki Paskevicius said outside a second-floor apartment facing the shooting scene. “First, two people were fighting one-on-one. Then, someone stepped in with a gun.”
Paskevicius said she heard eight shots: three, then two, then three more.
Guzman called the gathering a tattoo party. She declined to say what sparked the gunfire or identify the man who died, but said he was in his late 20s.
She said her injured nephews and cousins were variously wounded in the foot, face, back, chest and arm. She declined to provide their names.
The gunfire erupted about 11:25 p.m. during a dispute between neighbors, the wounded went to hospitals themselves,and two were admitted in critical condition, police said.
At least two people exchanged gunfire and at least one suspect was still being sought, said Officer Aden OcampoGomez, a Las Vegas police spokesman. The suspect was described only as an adult last seen wearing dark clothing.
OcampoGomez said he said he did not know if any of the wounded people were suspects in the shooting.
Lamar Isaac, a Las Vegas Strip hotel porter, said he pays about than $500 in rent every two weeks and has lived at the complex for three years. He said he was awakened by a series of gunshots, and thought more than one gun was fired.
A manager at the complex office refused to comment and ordered a reporter off the property.
Records show the sprawling complex has some 330 apartments in 10 two- and three-story buildings. It is east of the Las Vegas Strip and close to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The shooting came less than a week after gunfire left a 33-year-old man dead and 13 people wounded during a private party early Feb. 26 at a crowded hookah lounge in a commercial center east of the Strip.
One of the wounded, Lee Frank Wilson, 44, was arrested on murder and attempted murder charges, and police have said additional arrests are expected.
A judge on Thursday ordered Wilson to remain jailed without bail, noting in court that Wilson is a convicted felon who was arrested 82 times since 1995 and served a prison stint following his conviction in a 2019 shooting case.
Wilson’s attorney, Josh Tomsheck, said his client plans to plead not guilty.