UPDATE: Arrest report reveals possible motive for swap meet shooting

UPDATE JAN. 22:  The man who is accused of shooting two people to death behind a swap meet may have done so because one of the victims was a sex offender.

According to the arrest report for  Michael Thompson, he told a neighbor that he killed 53-year-old Alfred Wilhelm because he was a sex offender. He also said he shot 27-year-old Rhonda Ballow because she would not leave.

The neighbor told police that Thompson was sexually assaulted as a child and took offense to sex offenders. However, the neighbor says she initially didn't believe Thompson because of his drug habit. She told someone else about it though and eventually someone called the police with the information. 

Police say other people in the area also identified Thompson as the shooter. One of those people told police that he saw Thompson shoot Wilhelm before he ran away. When he returned to the scene, he saw Ballow asking for help.

In addition, a city marshal who knew several homeless individuals in the area also received information that Thompson was the possible shooter. 

Thompson apparently knows many of the homeless people in his community because he would often be forced to spend the night with them when his wife would kick him out of his home during a fight. 

UPDATE JAN. 17: Police arrested 32-year-old Michael Thompson in connection with the deadly shooting on January 16.

Thompson was located near the 2200 block of Sleep Court, near Washington Avenue and Rancho Drive. He was taken into custody without incident and currently faces two counts of murder with a deadly weapon.


An unidentified male in his 50s and woman in her 20s were found dead behind the Swap Meet at 2901 Washington Avenue near Rancho Drive.

Las Vegas police received a call about the bodies around 7:11 a.m. Wednesday. A preliminary investigation reveals the shooting may have occurred around 1 a.m.

Police report that both had gunshot wounds but the circumstances surrounding their shooting are still unknown. However, they do not believe it is an isolated incident at this time and the shooter possibly knew the victims.

Police did confirm that both were homeless and had set up camp in the loading dock area of the Swap Meet.

The Clark County coroner will release the names and ages of the deceased after relatives have been identified. 

Police expect to be on scene for several hours. 

Print this article Back to Top