Neighbors of RTC bus incident suspect in disbelief

LAS VEGAS - A 59-year-old suspect is in jail after a lengthy standoff aboard a Regional Transportation bus Wednesday afternoon.

Witnesses tell 8 News Now there were about 25 people on the bus during the standoff. The tense situation was a big shock for many passengers who escaped, but an even bigger surprise for those who knew the suspect.

SWAT officers swarmed the area while frightened passengers escaped and businesses were evacuated, near Nellis and Bonanza.

At the center of all the commotion, was a wheelchair-bound armede man.

Residents at the Bonnie Lane Senior Apartments never dreamed the cause of the incident would be their neighbor.

“My guess is he probably got drunk and things went haywire,” one resident said. “I think everybody pretty much likes Brett.”

The unidentified resident says he's known Brett Sporich for the entire two years he's lived at the apartments.

Metro Police say the 59-year-old Sporich fired at least two gunshots onboard the bus triggering a nearly three-hour long standoff.

“Everybody was pretty surprised he had a gun. I didn't think he had a gun. I don't know where he got the gun.”

Just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, police say Sporich surrendered. For many, it was an unexpected situation for those who knew him at the Lake Mead Tavern across from where he lived.

Donna Roderick says she and her customers knew Sporich as a happy-go-lucky regular.

“Always came in, was super nice, and super friendly,” Roderick said. “We're not even aware he was even in trouble because that just wasn't his personality.”

During her five weeks as manager of Lake Mead Tavern, Roderick says she didn't notice a change in Sporich’s demeanor until Tuesday.

Even then, she didn't expect his arrest just a day later.

“Obviously, something was going on with him,” Roderick said. “This was the first time I ever had to even tell him to calm down, relax, don't talk so loud.”

Sporich was booked into the Clark County Detention Center. There are no details on what charges he will face.


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