Sunday's slaying of two Las Vegas policemen raises to 23 the number of law enforcement officers killed by gunfire this year, a 53 percent increase over the tally at this time last year, which is spurring concern about the influence of radical groups.
After shooting the policemen at point-blank range, the husband and wife killers took the officers' weapons and reportedly covered them with a Revolutionary War-era Gadsden flag, which depicts a coiled snake and the words "Don't Tread on Me." The officers' killers — Jerad Miller and his wife, Amanda — had been at Cliven Bundy's ranch during his standoff with federal officials in April, though the rancher's family said Monday the two had been chased away.
The Millers had an ideology that was along the lines of "militia and white supremacists" and that law enforcement was the "oppressor," said Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill.
The slayings of officers Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31, who were gunned down while having lunch at a pizza buffet, add to a trend that has law enforcers worried that they are becoming the targets of crime.