Former Kennewick High student involved in Vegas killings embraced anti-government ideology

New York Times News ServiceJune 9, 2014 

— A married couple with ties to the Tri-Cities who fatally shot three people here Sunday - including two police officers - before killing themselves spoke incessantly about overthrowing the government and had ties to the anti-government Patriot movement, neighbors said Monday.

The police on Monday identified the couple as Jerad and Amanda Miller, who moved to Las Vegas in January and participated in anti-government protests at the ranch of Cliven Bundy, who became a symbol of opposition to the federal government this spring for his refusal to pay grazing fees for his cattle.

Jerad Miller, 31, and Amanda Miller, 22, killed two Las Vegas police officers Sunday at a pizza restaurant and fatally shot a third person at a nearby Wal-Mart before dying in a suicide pact.

Jerad Dwain Miller appears to have a criminal history in Washington dating back to 2001, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Benton County District Court records show he was convicted of obstructing a public officer and DUI in August 2002. Earlier that year, in April he was found guilty of assault with intent to cause injury, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

In June 2001, he was convicted of third-degree malicious mischief. In February 2001 he was convicted of third-degree theft. In 2000, he was convicted of third-degree malicious mischief, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

In 2001, he was convicted in Benton County Superior Court of taking a motor vehicle without permission and harassment.

An apparent relative of Jerad Miller with an address in Richland did not answer calls Monday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

On his Facebook page, Jerad Miller said that he attended Kennewick High School and married Amanda in September 2012.

The Kennewick School District said he attended the school for a semester his freshman year.

He posted several pictures of the Bible and of Elvis Presley, as well as pictures of a gold-plated semiautomatic gun that belonged to the singer and was on display at an Elvis museum in Las Vegas. In his news feed, he shared an anti-government cartoon that pokes fun at domestic spying and drones, and wrote in the caption, “Do you think anyone recognizes the nation D.C. hath made?”

The Millers, who left posts on their Facebook pages that threatened violence, had dropped off their pet cats a few hours before the attack Sunday with Kelly Fielder, who lived next door, according to Fielder.

Fielder said that Jerad Miller told her he was going “underground,” adding, “’I gotta do what I gotta do,” before starting to cry, giving Fielder a hug and leaving with his wife.

Fielder said that Jerad Miller talked nonstop about his opposition to the U.S. government. “All Jerad wanted to do is talk about overthrowing the government,” said Fielder. “I thought he was talking smack.”

The Las Vegas police said in a news conference Monday: “We believe this was an isolated act.”

The Facebook pages of the Millers are full of anti-law enforcement postings and violent threats. A note on the Facebook page for Jerad Miller, dated June 7 - one day before the attack - said: “The dawn of a new day. May all of our coming sacrifices be worth it.” A post from May 7 asks people to send him “a rifle firearms.”

A post on Amanda Miller’s Facebook page from 2011 warns that people are “lucky I can’t kill you now but remember one day I will get you because one day all hell will break loose and I’ll be standing in the middle of it with a shotgun in one hand and a pistol in the other.”

On his Facebook page, Jerad Miller said that he attended Kennewick High School in Kennewick, Washington, and married Amanda in September 2012. He posted several pictures of the Bible and of Elvis Presley, as well as pictures of a gold-plated semiautomatic gun that belonged to the singer and was on display at an Elvis museum in Las Vegas. In his news feed, he shared an anti-government cartoon that pokes fun at domestic spying and drones, and wrote in the caption, “Do you think anyone recognizes the nation D.C. hath made?”

Amanda Miller wrote that she was from Lafayette, Indiana, and attended Jefferson High School there. She listed her job as head of the needlework department at Hobby Lobby.

Amanda Miller’s YouTube channel has several videos of the couple in the car with their cats, including one posted in January titled, “Entering Indy for the Last Time.” In the video, Jerad Miller says that the couple is heading to Indianapolis.

“We are for the last time going through this awful city,” he says. The clip closes with Amanda Miller saying, “We’re on our way to Vegas, baby.” The date on the video is Jan. 4, 2014, a day after what Jerad Miller said on Facebook was his 31st birthday.

The two police officers were ambushed as they were eating lunch at a CiCi’s Pizza on Sunday around 11:20 a.m., said Sheriff Douglas Gillespie of Clark County.

The sheriff identified the officers as Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo, and said that one of them fired at the attackers before he died, but that it was unclear whether the officer struck either assailant.

“That these people would target police officers is not surprising given that they had associations with the anti-government movement,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project.

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