LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – An arrest report obtained by FOX5 contains previously unrevealed details about an early morning shooting just a short distance from the Las Vegas Strip.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers responded to reports of explosions coming from the higher floors of the MGM Signature. They say they arrived at the sound of gunfire and immediately began searching for the source.
Meanwhile, detectives began speaking to witnesses. The report indicates one witness told them the sounds were not explosions, but rather gunshots. He told them the person with the gun was possibly on the 26th floor.
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The same witness told detectives he’d seen a man come onto a balcony, and fire a gun indiscriminately into the air towards Top Golf. He said he saw the man go back into his room and then saw windows shatter as he continued to fire shots.
Officers pinpointed the room involved, and the LVMPD SWAT team moved in. However, once they got inside the room, the suspect was gone. They say he had flooded the room by turning on the bathtub tap. They say they found a dog locked in the bathroom, along with spent shell casings and multiple bullet impacts. Police also found a pill bottle bearing the suspect’s name: John Letzkus.
Detectives learned Letzkus had checked into the MGM Signature with a dog on December 30th, 2023. They confirmed his vehicle license plate, and the search for the suspect continued.
MGM surveillance located a man matching his appearance in a pizzeria. Officers moved in and Letzkus was arrested without incident.
The reports also detail the interview investigators conducted with the suspect after his arrest. They say Letzkus was extremely angry over events surrounding his recent divorce. Detectives describe as screaming and crying, with a red face, bulging veins and clenched fists.
They say he later admitted by the gun used, a Glock 17, at a gun store in his home state of Oregon. Detectives say he told them he bought it for self-protection. They say Letzkus told him was an expert with guns, but would never use them to hurt anyone. He told them he was “more of a danger to himself than to anyone else.”
Detectives say Letzkus went on to describe the circumstances surrounding his outbursts. He told them he came to Las Vegas to get away from a sheriff who was trying to serve him. He also told them he thought hotel security was actually someone hired by his ex-wife to kill him, and he was afraid they would throw him off the balcony. He told police he fired off so many shots in hopes of getting their attention and getting help.
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The report also recounts details of some of the hallucinations Letzkus claimed to be experiencing, including seeing “cats in suits with machine guns” walking the hallways. He also says he saw people coming through the heating vents to get him.
It goes on to describe the scenes captured from surveillance video recorded before, during, and after, the violent outburst. Detectives say there is video of him running down a hall, throwing his weight against a stairwell door, and dropping a number of rounds of ammunition.
At one point he’s seen leaving a suitcase in a stairwell, in another, detectives say, he’s seen sprinting down the hallway wearing nothing but socks and shoes. They say Letzkus comes back into frame a short time later fully clothed.
They say he went back and forth between his room a number of times between 7 and 8 am, before crossing the skywalk to the MGM, where he was ultimately arrested.
Among the evidence collected a Glock semi-automatic handgun, numerous spent cartridges, and two magazines.
MGM Security reports the incident caused approximately $100,000 in water damage.
The report shows, at the time of his arrest Letzkus was under a restraining order out of San Diego that prevented him from having a gun. So, in addition to the 70+ charges he faces for firing off a gun inside a building, he’ll also face another felony charge for possessing a firearm. He’s also charged with two felony counts of property damage.
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