Metro officers shoot, kill man following standoff

LAS VEGAS - Metro officers shot and killed a man early Tuesday morning as police investigated a double murder in Spring Valley.  

SWAT officers were called to a home in the 7300 block of Newcrest Cir., near Flamingo Rd and Tenaya Way, late Monday night to serve a search warrant.  That action quickly turned into a standoff with a man inside a home.

Police had been in the neighborhood investigating a double murder.  Around 2 p.m. Monday, a boy walking by a house found a dead body in the front yard.  Another deceased man was found inside the house.

Neighbors have identified one of the victims as 54-year-old Roland Shelly.

"I feel like I've lost a part of me; this guy, he's like my best friend on this block," said Walter Frye, the next-door neighbor. "He was like my best friend on this block. He's the one I've known for like 15 years."   

During the investigation, officers determined the murder suspect was likely hiding in a neighboring house.  SWAT officers were called to the scene to serve a warrant and capture that suspect.

According to neighbors, the suspected killer was identified as 35-year-old Jarrett Varnado.

Officers entered a home before midnight and began clearing rooms.  They discovered the Varnado hiding in an upstairs bedroom.  

After 2 a.m., officers sent a police dog into the room, and the dog ended up in a struggle with the suspect.  As officers removed the dog, investigators say the suspect rolled over and pointed a gun at officers.  

Two SWAT officers opened fire.  The suspect was shot and rushed to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Andrew Holguin said he knew the victims and the suspect for a total of 15 years.

"They've never had any issues in the past," Holguin said.

Holguin says Varnado has been suffering from bipolar disorder and had been out of touch with his family for several months. 

According to Holguin, before Varnado returned to his mother's house a few weeks ago, things started to get out of control.

"She had confided in me everything that he had said about threatening the neighbor's life, about being on a mission from the voices in his head," said Holguin.

Holguin says the family was seeking help for Varnado.  He recounts an incident in which Varnado was having an episode.

"He was out early in the morning, about 4 o'clock in the morning, screaming and yelling at the tree," said Holguin.

Frye said he saw some of the warning signs as well.  He says the outcome was tragic, but not unexpected.

"Not surprised about the situation, thought it would be different in regards to who might have gotten hurt," said Frye. 

8 News NOW learned police did go to Varnado home when he first returned to his mother's house a few weeks ago, but we have not yet been able to confirm whether or not police have been out here before then.

As for the other victim, neighbors say he had only been living in the home for a few weeks, and they did not know his name. The Clark County Coroner still has to release the identities for both of the victims formally.

This is the 20th officer-involved shooting in Metro's jurisdiction this year.  The name of the suspect and of the officers involved was not released.

The victims of the original murders are said to be men in their 40's and 50's, and possibly roommates.


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