PD: Las Vegas Strip bus suspect felt threatened, unprovoked in s - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

PD: Las Vegas Strip bus suspect felt threatened, unprovoked in shooting

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Police negotiated with a gunman on board an RTC bus on the Las Vegas Strip on March 25, 2017. The suspect in the case was identified as Rolando Cardenas. (Background: Austin Turner/FOX5; inset: LVMPD) Police negotiated with a gunman on board an RTC bus on the Las Vegas Strip on March 25, 2017. The suspect in the case was identified as Rolando Cardenas. (Background: Austin Turner/FOX5; inset: LVMPD)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A man accused of shooting and killing a bus passenger before barricading himself on board the double-decker vehicle told Las Vegas police he felt threatened by the victim, according to an arrest report.

Police, however, stated surveillance cameras on the public bus captured the gunman from Saturday's shooting on the Las Vegas Strip opening fire without provocation.

An arrest report gave details into the shooting and resulting barricade that disrupted vehicle and foot traffic on the Strip. Rolando Cardenas, 55, was taken into custody after more than four hours after the initial shooting.

In the report, police stated the bus on which Cardenas boarded had stopped in the 3700 block of South Las Vegas Boulevard just after 10:45 a.m. The bus was in a southbound lane in front of the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino.

Police said a person, who was later identified as Gary Breitling, was outside the vehicle suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Bystanders performed CPR on the man while armed security officers pointed their handguns toward the bus. The officers contacted Metro, which dispatched SWAT officers and crisis negotiators.

Breitling and another person, Jason Ellis, were taken to University Medical Center. Breitling died while in treatment while Ellis was treated for a non-life threatening, "perforating" gunshot wound to the torso.

Police said Cardenas remained on the second floor of the double-decker bus while they negotiated with him. At one point, SWAT officers deployed a robot onto the bus, which was thrown out. Two more shots were heard within the vehicle before communication with the man was cut off.

Police later re-established contact with Cardenas, and the man agreed to surrender after tossing his handgun out of the bus, the arrest report stated.

During an interview at Metro headquarters, Cardenas told detectives that he was jobless and was recently homeless. In the report, Cardenas stated that he boarded the bus at Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue, sitting toward the rear of the bus on the second floor. He told detectives a large man and two females sat next to him. The large man made him feel uneasy, he said.

Cardenas stated he heard the man say, "I'm going to kick your ass," despite none of the individuals being armed with weapons.

Police said Cardenas admitted pulling a handgun from his backpack and pointing it at the man. The man and the two women had gotten up and moved toward the stairwell away from him, the report said. Cardenas said he opened fire toward the back of a seat at least twice. He insisted only wanting to scare the man.

Cardenas also told detectives that he tossed the robot because he thought it was a bomb. He also claimed that he aimed at a camera on the bus and not at officers when he discharged his firearm. The report stated Cardenas felt bad about what happened.

The report goes on to describe images captured on the vehicle's surveillance camera. Police stated Cardenas "suddenly and without provocation" produced a handgun and fired toward the stairwell where Ellis, Breitling, and his wife were waiting to descend. The first round struck a wall next to the stairwell before hitting Breitling in the chest. The second round struck the same wall and struck Ellis in the torso.

Cardenas was booked into Clark County Detention Center on counts of murder with a deadly weapon, attempted murder with a deadly weapon, burglary with a firearm and discharging a firearm within a vehicle.

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