Police: Officer kills wife, son, himself in Boulder City

  • By Mike Blasky and Antonio Planas
    Posted: Jan. 21, 2013 | 10:38 a.m.
    Updated: Jan. 21, 2013 | 3:12 p.m.

    A Las Vegas police officer killed his wife and son shortly before setting his house on fire and killing himself, according to authorities.

    Boulder City police responded to an 8:20 a.m. call from the man at 1313 Esther Drive. The home is owned by Las Vegas police Lt. Hans Walters and his wife, Kathryn Michelle Walters.

    When officers responded, the man was outside the home carrying what appeared to be a handgun. He ignored officers' commands and returned to the burning home where it is believed he committed suicide.

    Henderson Police Department spokesman Keith Paul said the man involved was a Las Vegas police employee.

    Hans Walters works in the patrol division of Enterprise Area Command.

    Kathryn Walters is a former Las Vegas police officer. She left the department in 2005.

    Sheriff Doug Gillespie spoke briefly at a press conference Monday but did not disclose many details.

    "As many of you know, there was an incident today involving one of Metro's lieutenants," he said.

    Gillespie said the lieutenant worked for the Metropolitan Police Department for more than 20 years, but he did not call Walters by name.

    Patrick Brewer was getting coffee about 8:45 a.m. when he looked outside and noticed smoke coming from his neighbor's house.

    He was startled when he saw that first responders were not firefighters, but several Boulder City police officers carrying rifles and moving cautiously.

    Brewer, 44, said he moved his family to the bedroom.

    Firefighters arrived soon after the officers and began dousing the flames, even as the officers continued to circle the house with their guns drawn.

    "The house was definitely not secure, let's put it that way," he said.

    "I realized I was looking at something that was definitely not normal."

    Brewer said he never heard gunshots and the fire was the first indication of an emergency. He heard a person yell, "I did not do this," as authorities circled the home, but he wasn't sure who yelled.

    He described the couple as a quiet and said they did not interact much with their neighbors. In the five years Brewer lived next to the family, he never had a real conversation with them.

    Officials from Boulder City, North Las Vegas, Henderson and the Metropolitan Police Department responded to the home, according to Boulder City police.
    Henderson police will handle the investigation.

    Gillespie deferred to Henderson police and refused to take questions.

    He said the department's thoughts were with the family of the victims.

    "We will stand by your side and move through this unspeakable grief and support you any way we can," he said.

    This is a developing story. Check back for more details.