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UPDATE: Las Vegas Strip bus shooting suspect in court

Posted at 11:16 AM, Mar 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 20:34:29-04

UPDATE ON MARCH 29: Rolando Cardenas, who is accused of shooting 2 people on a RTC bus on the Las Vegas Strip, appeared in court on the morning of March 29.

A preliminary hearing date was set for April 27 at 9 a.m. He will be represented by a public defender.

UPDATE ON MARCH 28: An arrest report details what led to the tense standoff that shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip Saturday.

Rolando Cardenas allegedly shot two people on the double decker RTC bus in front of the Cosmopolitan.

According to the arrest report, Cardenas had been unemployed for three years and recently became homeless.

On Saturday, Cardenas boarded the bus near Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue. Police said somewhere along the way a large man boarded the bus and sat next to Cardenas, which made him feel uncomfortable.

Police said Cardenas told them that he heard the large man was going to beat him up, which is when Cardenas pulled out his gun.

According to the report, Cardenas told them he only wanted to scare the man, not kill him.

During the standoff, SWAT deployed a robot on the bus, which police said Cardenas threw off the bus because he thought it was a bomb. According to the arrest report, he shot his gun two more times at a camera in the SWAT vehicle before cutting the line with negotiators.

He eventually surrendered around 2:45 p.m.

The injured person has been released from the hospital.

UPDATE ON MARCH 26: 55-year-old Rolando Cardenas was identified as the suspect in Saturday's standoff. He was booked at the Clark County Detention Center on murder and burglary charges.

Police say Cardenas has no previous criminal history.

The Clark County Coroner identified the victim who died from his injuries as 57-year-old Gary Breitling from Sidney, Montana.

UPDATE AT 5:30 PM: Police released new details about the shooting just outside the Cosmopolitan on Saturday.

An initial investigation revealed that the suspect was on the second story of an RTC bus when he pulled out a gun and started shooting randomly.

As soon as shots were fired, the bus driver pulled over, and people scrambled out. Two victims were struck by gunfire. One was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries while the other died from their wounds.

The suspect remained inside the bus. He did fire shots during his negotiations.

After several hours, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. No additional victims were found on the bus.

Police say the suspect likely has mental issues and may have been delusional when the shooting began.

Most lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard have opened back up to the public.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada released the following statement following the incident:

This morning, a shooting occurred on an RTC transit vehicle that services the Las Vegas Strip.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the rider who was fatally shot, and we also extend our sincere sympathies to the injured victim, the bus operator and the other passengers who were aboard during this tragic incident. The safety and security of our transit riders, contractors and staff is our utmost priority.  We are working closely with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and remain committed to providing a safe public transportation system.

UPDATE AT 3:15 PM: Reports from the scene indicate the suspect has been taken into custody.

Police say that Las Vegas Boulevard will remain closed between Flamingo Road and Harmon Avenue while officials investigate the incident.


LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- Las Vegas police are at the scene of an incident outside of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Saturday.

The incident began around 10:48 a.m. Witnesses say that guests are being told to stay in their rooms and major floors are being evacuated.

Police say that there is no current active shooter inside the hotel. Officials have closed Las Vegas Boulevard between Flamingo Road and Harmon Avenue. Officers believe the suspect is on a bus that is on Las Vegas Boulevard. Drivers are advised to avoid the area.

One victim has been taken to the hospital in unknown condition. Another was pronounced dead.

SWAT and negotiation units were called to the scene to aid officers at the scene.

Police say the incident is not terror-related.

This story is developing. 13 Action News is sending a crew to the scene. More information to come.