© AP Photo/Las Vegas Sun, Steve Marcus
Officials put on protective masks before entering a house as they investigate a shooting and fire in Boulder City, Nev., Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.
A Las Vegas police lieutenant and two family members are dead after an apparent double murder, suicide and arson at a home in Boulder City, authorities said Monday.
Clark County Sheriff Douglas Gillespie and other officials didn't immediately identify the police officer, pending positive identification and the release of names by the Clark County coroner.
"There was an incident today involving one of Metro's lieutenants," a somber Gillespie said in a 2 1/2-minute statement to reporters at a hastily called news conference. "Several bodies were discovered."
Gillespie, the elected head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, said the lieutenant was a 20-year Las Vegas police veteran. Gillespie spoke of "untold grief" for family members, friends and co-workers, but took no questions.
He said the investigation in Boulder City, which is about 20 miles southeast of Las Vegas, was being handled by police in neighboring Henderson.
Henderson police spokesman Keith Paul said a man called 911 at about 8:20 a.m. Monday and told a dispatcher he killed his wife and child, set his house afire and would shoot anyone who approached.
The home is owned by Hans Walters, according to Clark County assessor records. Many know Walters as a Las Vegas police lieutenant married to a former Las Vegas police officer, Kathryn Walters. The Las Vegas Review-Journal
reported that she left the department in 2005.
Boulder City police arrived to find the homeowner with a handgun in the doorway of the burning house before he retreated back inside and apparently killed himself.
No shots were fired by police or SWAT officers from Henderson and North Las Vegas who later found three bodies inside, Paul said.
"We're investigating the incident as a murder-suicide at this time," the Henderson police spokesman said.
Coroner Michael Murphy said investigators were still at the fire-charred home Monday afternoon. He said identifications would probably be made Tuesday.