LAS VEGAS — Arnoldo Lozano-Sanchez’s tenants were late with their rent, and the elderly Las Vegas landlord was determined to “handle (it) his way,” according to prosecutors.
Lozano-Sanchez, 78, is accused of gunning down three of his tenants last week, killing two and seriously wounding a third. He is charged with two counts of murder and a single count of attempted murder, according to court records.
Lozano-Sanchez is being held without bond in the Clark County Jail. During an initial court appearance on Wednesday, Lozano Sanchez spoke through an interpreter.
“I don’t know what I’m being accused of,” he said, according to the Las Vegas Journal-Review.
Las Vegas Metropolitan police officials said that patrol officers were called around 12:23 a.m. Tuesday to a home at 212 W. Chicago Ave., where multiple gunshots had been reported. When they arrived, they found a woman lying in the driveway, mortally wounded.
Shortly after officers moved the woman from the driveway, a man stumbled out of the single-story pink house, also suffering from multiple bullet wounds. Like the female victim, he was rushed to a hospital.
The male victim survived but the woman was pronounced dead a short time later.
Officers received word that the alleged shooter, Lozano-Sanchez, was still inside the house.
“Communication was established with (Lozano-)Sanchez, who eventually surrendered without incident,” police officials said in a statement.
Officers went inside the home, where they found a second slain woman.
The Associated Press reported that Lozano-Sanchez allegedly asked a neighbor to help him get rid of the gun. The weapon, a semi-automatic pistol, was later found hidden under a bush near the alleged gunman’s property.
It was unclear if anyone helped him hide the handgun.
Detectives learned that Lozano-Sanchez was renting out two of the three bedrooms in his 1,120-square-foot, single-family home. According to an arrest report obtained by the Review-Journal, a witness, Adria Ortega, told investigators that Lozano-Sanchez had become angry several days before the shooting because his tenants had not paid their rent.
“Ortega suggested Lozano-Sanchez go to court to evict the people living inside his home,” the report states. “Lozano-Sanchez told the witness he would ‘handle it his way.’”
Another witness, Carlos Lopez, told police he and his girlfriend, identified in the report only as Paula, were staying in one of the rooms. Lopez said Paula left the room shortly before he heard the gunfire start.
“When Lopez looked outside the room, he saw Arnoldo (Lozano-)Sanchez standing in the hallway, smiling and laughing,” the arrest affidavit states.
Another of the renters, Seferino Reyes, heard the shots and opened his own door, the Review-Journal reported.
“Lozano(-Sanchez) told Reyes he would not be able to run from him anymore,” according to the document. “Lozano(-Sanchez) began to push his way into Reyes’ room. Lopez could hear Reyes yelling, ‘No!’ and Reyes’ girlfriend, Dawn, screaming from within the room.”
Lopez heard several more shots and hid behind his door so Lozano-Sanchez would not spot him, court records state.
“Lopez then observed Lozano(-Sanchez) exit the room smiling and laughing,” the report says.
The uninjured Lopez ran from the house, at which point he found his girlfriend bleeding in the driveway.
Both women died. The surviving victim, Reyes, was shot nine times, according to the AP.
The AP reported that police had no immediate information on whether the fatal rent dispute was linked to the nationwide eviction moratorium put in place early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The ban expired earlier this month but has since been reinstated in many states, including Nevada, with high transmission of the delta
Authorities said that Lozano-Sanchez asked for an attorney and refused to speak to detectives following his arrest.
The AP reported that police had no immediate information on whether the fatal rent dispute was linked to the nationwide eviction moratorium put in place early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The ban expired earlier this month but has since been reinstated in many states, including Nevada, that are experiencing high numbers of people infected with the delta variant of the virus.
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