Las Vegas Boulevard was closed to traffic for about six hours today as police got into a standoff with an armed man at Nellis Air Force Base. Finally, at around 3:15 this afternoon, the volatile situation ended without incident.
The crisis began just after 9 am when Las Vegas police took a call about a man with a gun in a parking lot at the base, home to more air squadrons than any other United States Air Force base, and staging ground for frequent, large-scale combat training exercises.
The parking lot is located along North Las Vegas Boulevard, about 13 miles from the famed Las Vegas strip, home to a high density of America’s most famous gambling resort hotels and casinos. The Strip is a stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard about four miles long.
Cops closed a portion of Las Vegas Boulevard between Craig Road and Range Road near the military installation. The man, whose name has not been made public, was reportedly in a car outside Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center, where he was said to be threatening people with the gun — and threatening to commit suicide.
The Air Force’s 99th Security Forces Squadron joined Las Vegas Metro police in attempting to contain the man and talk him into giving up without hurting anyone, including himself.
The hospital where the man was parked was placed on lockdown. Incoming medical cases were sent to other area hospitals. The base itself was also locked down. Only one gate at Nellis Air Force Base was allowed to remain open.
But after six tense hours, police were able to take the man into custody.
These sorts of standoffs have happened frequently in recent weeks in Las Vegas. On January 3, in North Las Vegas, police arresed two men after an eight-hour standoff ensued when U.S. Marshalls tried to serve warrants on the men.
On January 14, a 67-year-old man committed suicide after shooting his wife and daughter in his North Las Vegas home, and a six-hour standoff with police.
A fugitive barricaded himself inside a house for five hours on January 24 in Las Vegas, before surrendering to SWAT team officers. The man was wanted for attempted murder.
And back on December 16, a 39-year old man held Las Vegas police at bay with a shotgun, firing several rounds at them after trying to commit suicide by injecting himself with dog insulin.