LAS VEGAS — Five people were killed and 7 were injured when a gunman opened fire at a Veterans Affairs medical facility in Las Vegas, officials said Monday.
Las Vegas police identified the deceased as Robert A. Martinez, 63; Joseph L. Baca, 58; John Baca and Michael M. Bacca, 56; Joseph D. Dyer, 62; and Steven M. Martinez Jr., 60.
The wounded were identified as Joseph L., 56; Edward D., 41; and Stephen M., 42.
The suspect, identified as Stephen Martinez Jr. of Mesquite, Nev., was shot and killed by police, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Brian S. Watson said.
Martinez was killed in a shootout with police at the scene.
Police did not immediately say whether he had a weapon.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Martinez and Baca were both shot while trying to surrender to police.
Bada was shot by a police officer while holding a weapon in his hand.
Police said the gunman was believed to have had at least one weapon.
The hospital is about 25 miles north of Las Vegas.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Clark County Deputy Coronado Johnson told CNN.
“It was very surreal.
It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen in my life.”
About two hours after the attack, police and SWAT teams descended on the hospital and surrounded the facility.
A number of SWAT teams and ambulances converged on the Las Vegas area.
SWAT teams in Las, Vegas and Las Vegas County were also seen at the hospital.
“This is a very unusual situation,” Lombardo told reporters.
“We are on a very dangerous mission, trying to secure the hospital.”
The incident happened in the midst of a national debate over the use of body cameras by law enforcement officers.
“These are important cameras, they’re very, very valuable cameras.
I want to emphasize, they are not a substitute for video,” Sheriff Lombardo added.
Lasers are not normally carried by police officers and are not approved by the Department of Justice, according to the Department.
“The cameras are designed to provide a clear and unobstructed view of a situation that can be used to determine the appropriateness of an officer’s use of force or the degree of force used,” a department spokesperson told the Associated Press.
Authorities did not specify the type of cameras or the type they are designed for.
The shootings occurred in a medical center housing a Veterans Administration medical center.
At least three people were being treated at the facility, the hospital said.
At the time of the shooting, officials had said there were no plans for the hospital to open, though Lombardo had said he would review the situation and could make changes.
The incident was the deadliest shooting by a single gunman at a VA facility in more than a decade.
The FBI said that it was assisting local law enforcement with the investigation.
Lombardo has repeatedly called for more cameras at the VA.
“At the same time we need to make sure that we have those devices in place to ensure that we are protecting all of our personnel, and we have cameras,” he said.
“That includes all of those individuals that we’re trying to protect, and the public is not protected by the VA and so we have to make certain that we protect the public.”