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Failed Lawsuit Possible Motive in Vegas Attack

Failed Lawsuit Possible Motive in Vegas Attack

The AP via YellowBrix

January 05, 2010

LAS VEGAS – A gunman who opened fire at a federal building Monday, killing a court security guard and wounding a U.S. marshal before being shot to death, was upset over losing a lawsuit over his Social Security benefits, law enforcement officials said.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, said 66-year-old Johnny Lee Wicks opened fire with a shotgun at a security checkpoint, touching off a gun battle with deputy U.S. marshals.

Although the investigation is continuing, the officials said evidence points to Wick’s anger over his benefits case as the motive for the shooting.

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Court records show Wicks sued the Social Security Administration in 2008, alleging that he was the victim of racial discrimination because his benefits were reduced when he moved from California to Nevada in January of that year. The case was thrown out and formally closed Sept. 9.

Gunfire erupted at the courthouse moments after 8 a.m. Monday, the start of the workweek, and lasted several minutes.

A passerby said he counted at least 40 shots.

The U.S. Marshals Service said the victims included a 48-year-old deputy U.S. marshal who was hospitalized and a 65-year-old court security officer who died.

The guard was Stanley Cooper, a retired Las Vegas police officer employed by Akal Security, said Jeff Carter, spokesman for the Marshals Service in Washington.

Las Vegas police did not immediately provide information about Cooper. Carter said he was a police officer for 26 years and became a federal court security officer in Las Vegas in 1994.

Authorities did not immediately release the name of the wounded marshal.

  • Me_max50


    over 5 years ago


    Weither he lost money....shooting an officer is wrong. There was other ways to handle this ...its called an appeal!

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    over 5 years ago


    I am sorry for the loss of a good man, the deputies were not the enemy, they only get paid to protect a corrupt system. the man should have gone after the head of the SS administration. When people work their whole lives they deserve their pensions and not have it altered state to state, do our senators and congress get salary and benefits adjusted for their state???? I do understand, why he went over the edge, I only wish he would have gone after the right people and killed a few of them, instead we lose another officer and have one more injured for the corruption of a system. This is truly sad and a loss for all.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 5 years ago


    I found out that the S.S.A. has a different amount of money for each state, If you was to move from Wi. to N.Y. eveything would be different, including your health care. I think this man lost $100.00 or more out of his check each month and his health care was more, and just couldn"t take it. he should of moved back to where he came from, not kill the messenger. I agree with most of you all, he snap but again, what causes a man, (person) to get to that point? I think we are going to see more and more of family murder/suicides, just because of what this man faced. I"m so very sorry for the vics. GOD BLESS them.

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    over 5 years ago


    the only thing wrong is the person that died, Wicks should have gone after the judge or better yet the head of the SS administration. When people work their whole lives to have a corrupt government steal their money to give to lazy MF ers and illegals, then this is going to happen and will continue.
    I am only sorry he went after and harmed the wrong people. But then as police we are targets.
    RIP brother you were killed for the sins of others, and that is sad and a loss for us all.

  • 1460209889_m_max50


    over 5 years ago


    Its a sad story, but in reality, what causes a man "snap" on "INNOCENT" people? What is driving normal, everyday people to loose it? In this case, was it politics, red tape, just a bad day, or was he a ticking bomb just waiting (66 years) to explode?? Why did they reduce his SS for relocating? Did that mean the life long depositing of SS from paydays was worth less because of the relocation? Im not too familiar with the SS laws and "red tape" but, I think I would be a little upset myself. (not to the point of POSTAL and harming anyone)

    Ever notice the people that do snap are usually known as "The quiet neighbor", "The nicest guy", and the people that have NO criminal history?? Watch you six brothers and sisters!!

    R.I.P. Officer Cooper.

  • Tigerstripe_002_max50


    over 5 years ago


    Sensless. RIP

  • Car6_max50


    over 5 years ago


    Sad day for the family of Officer Cooper, R.I.P.

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