A seven-member Clark County Coroners' jury deliberated less than 10 minutes Friday before deciding a National Park Service ranger was justified when he shot and killed an armed man at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area last week.
Tom Valenta and two other rangers, Cliff Spencer and Robert Judkins, responded to the intersection of North Shore Drive and Lake Shore Drive at the National Recreation Area south of Las Vegas Saturday after motorists reported an armed man walking along the side of the road pointing a gun at passersby.Rangers said 28-year-old Brent Miller, wanted on a fugitive murder warrant issued in Jackson, Wyo., refused to drop his weapon despite repeated orders from authorities to do so.
Miller, a former Utah resident, repeatedly threatened to kill the rangers and vowed he would not let them return him to prison, rangers said.
Valenta said he fired once as Miller, with gun drawn, advanced to within 20 feet of him. A six-year veteran of the National Park Service, Valenta said he feared for his life and the lives of others in the immediate area when he shot and killed Miller.