Deputy marshal hurt in Vegas gunfight identified
Richard Gardner is recovering at home after being hospitalized
LAS VEGAS — A veteran deputy U.S. marshal wounded during a furious gunbattle that left a court security guard and a shotgun-wielding disgruntled Social Security recipient dead was identified Wednesday as Richard Gardner.
Gardner, 48, was wounded on the left side by bird shot pellets during the Monday gunbattle, and was recovering at home after being hospitalized with arm, side and head wounds, U.S. Marshal Gary Orton in Las Vegas said.
Gardner has been a marshal for 24 years, including 16 years in Las Vegas. He had not completed incident briefings and reports Wednesday, and wouldn't immediately be available for public interviews, Orton said.
Authorities also began planning a funeral next Monday at a large church in Henderson for Stanley Cooper, a 72-year-old security officer and retired Las Vegas police sergeant killed in the assault, Orton said.
Officials say Cooper, an employee of Akal Security Inc., was mortally wounded by a shotgun blast to the chest at the public entrance security screening station at the Lloyd D. George Courthouse and Federal Building in downtown Las Vegas.
Cooper wasn't wearing a bulletproof vest, but was able to fire one of 81 shots unleashed by security officers as the assailant, 66-year-old Johnny Lee Wicks fired four more blasts.
Wicks was pursued across Las Vegas Boulevard by Gardner, two other marshals and three other court security officers before being shot and killed in front of a historic restored schoolhouse-turned-offices.
The Clark County coroner said Wednesday that Wicks died of gunshots to stomach and head.
Authorities say Wicks was an ex-convict with a criminal history including prison time for killing his brother in Tennessee and jail time for domestic violence in California.
Court records and former neighbors say he believed he was discriminated against because he was black, and he blamed the government for cutting his $974 monthly Social Security benefits to $688 after he moved from California to Las Vegas.