Las Vegas Man Accused of Killing Victim Because He Considered Him an “Alien”

Major Sanford , 44

A report from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has shed light on a disturbing incident in which a man allegedly shot and killed another individual, later opening fire near a Las Vegas school. The motivation behind the attack, according to police, was the belief that the victim was an “alien” who desired to be the assailant’s brother.

On the morning of November 9, multiple calls were placed to LVMPD dispatch reporting the sound of four to five gunshots. Among the callers was a man who claimed his vehicle had been shot at while he was inside it, parked at the Las Vegas Academy of Arts.

Prior to this incident, on November 2, a caller had reported a stolen firearm, naming Major Sanford, a 44-year-old resident of the area, as a person of interest in the case.

Numerous callers described witnessing a man, approximately 30 to 40 years old, with dreadlocks and facial tattoos, holding a firearm, according to the report.

One witness recounted walking towards the theater building of the Las Vegas Academy of Arts when she heard several “loud pops.” She reported seeing a man standing in the doorway of one of the apartments, shooting indiscriminately at the theater building. Alarmed, she entered a friend’s vehicle, and they quickly left the area. Subsequently, she positively identified Sanford as the individual she had observed.

Police discovered three bullet impacts on the east side of the theater building.

Upon arriving at the scene, officers observed Sanford leaving an apartment in the 400 block of South 10th Street near Clark Avenue. Sanford was taken into custody, during which he disclosed that he had a small firearm in a bag across his chest.

While being arrested, Sanford uttered the chilling statement, “I killed that alien.”

Officers noted two broken windows in Sanford’s apartment and conducted a welfare check inside. There, they discovered Shannon Awa, 46, lying on the bedroom floor with gunshot wounds to the back of his head and the back of his left shoulder. Tragically, medical personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.

Sanford explained to police that he had lived in the apartment with his mother for the past two years. Recently, his mother had been hospitalized due to respiratory issues. When questioned about other occupants of the apartment, Sanford referred to the victim as “that alien,” later clarifying that he was referring to the person found deceased inside the apartment.

According to Sanford, he labeled Awa an “alien” because Awa, despite his desire, was not his actual brother. Sanford believed Awa intended to “rob” him by taking his marijuana and firearm, prompting him to shoot the victim twice.

When questioned about a November 2 incident involving a stolen firearm, Sanford requested legal representation.

Sanford faced multiple charges, including open murder with the use of a deadly weapon, discharging a gun into an occupied structure (four charges), possession of a firearm by a prohibited person (two charges), carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, grand larceny of a firearm, and assault with a deadly weapon.

Court records unveiled Sanford’s extensive history of arrests in Clark County dating back to 2003. The charges included theft, burglary, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a deadly weapon as an ex-felon, and other offenses. Sanford had also served time in the Nevada prison system.

As of the latest available information, Sanford remained detained at the Clark County Detention Center, with his next court appearance scheduled for January 11.

Chris Morris
Author: Chris Morris

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