Robert Thomas: 93-Year-Old Shoots Worker on Video, Cops Say

Robert Thomas

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas is the 93-year-old man from Las Vegas who was captured on surveillance video shooting a male worker at his apartment complex at point-blank range on January 2, 2020. The employee’s injuries were not life-threatening, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police.

Investigators said Thomas was upset about water damage and flooding inside his apartment. He is facing multiple charges including attempted murder. Thomas was scheduled to appear before a judge for a preliminary hearing on January 22.

The apartment complex where the shooting took place is located just over a mile from Caesars Palace on the Strip. It’s also just a few blocks away from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, where the World Series of Poker takes place each year.

Here’s what you need to know.

911 Caller: Robert Thomas Was ‘Irate’ Over Flooding At His Apartment & Made Threats Before Firing His Weapon

Robert Thomas entered the management office at the Vista Del Valle Apartments around 9:10 a.m. on January 2, 2020. Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police explained during a press conference that the woman working in the office called 911, describing Thomas as an ‘irate resident” who had walked in armed with a gun and was making verbal threats. Her face was blurred out in the security footage, which begins at 5:30 in the video embedded above.

In the video, you can see Thomas take the gun out of his jacket at 5:48. The woman was behind the desk and the male worker was standing next to Thomas. The video then jumps forward a few frames, and you can see that the male victim had sat down in the chair in front of the desk.

The video does not have sound. At 6:04, Thomas aims the gun at the back of the room and fires, hitting a computer screen. If you look closely at the top left-hand corner of the screen, you can make out the phone cord; the woman was still on the phone with the police and the dispatcher heard the gunshot. A few moments later, Thomas allows the woman to leave the building. Thomas was holding the gun at his side as she walked out.

That left Thomas alone in the office with the male worker, who was still sitting in the chair. Thomas shot the man in the lower portion of his body, causing the man to fall to the floor. Thomas stood over him and fired a second shot about 40 seconds later, causing the man to writhe in pain.

Police Fired Into the Glass Door & Pulled Robert Thomas to the Ground

Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas

Las Vegas Police Officer Ronald Hornyak was the first member of law enforcement on the scene. The dispatcher had alerted him and other officers that shots had been fired inside the office. As he approached, he heard the final gunshot.

The department released footage from Officer Hornyak’s body camera during the press conference. In the video, you can hear him say, “Shots still being fired. We got to make entry.” He yelled at Thomas to drop his weapon and then immediately fired into the glass door.

The bullet from the officer’s gun struck Thomas’ lapel but did not hit his skin. The officer again ordered Thomas to drop the weapon, and Thomas complied. Officer Hornyak pulled Thomas onto the ground and handcuffed him.

Thomas cut his head on a piece of glass during the arrest. Both he and the shooting victim were taken to the hospital. The victim was treated and released. Thomas was booked into jail after receiving medical treatment.

Robert Thomas Told a Judge That He Could Have Shot the Victim ‘Between the Eyes’

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department said that Robert Thomas did not have a criminal record prior to the shooting at the Vista Del Valle Apartments. A search of court records for Clark County, Nevada, further confirms that Thomas had not been arrested in the Las Vegas area before the shooting.

Thomas was booked into the North Tower Detention Center on several charges including:

  • Attempted murder with a deadly weapon
  • Kidnapping in the first degree
  • Discharge of a firearm within a prohibited area
  • Burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon
  • Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit

According to inmate records, the bond was set at $25,000. KTNV-TV reported that during his first court appearance on January 7, Thomas needed headphones to hear the judge and was in a wheelchair.

Thomas acknowledged that he understood the charges leveled against him. But he countered that if he’d actually meant to do serious harm, he could have shot the victim “between the eyes.”

As referenced above, Thomas will be back in court on January 22 for a preliminary hearing.

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