Las Vegas attorney and wife killed as gunman opens fire during child custody hearing at law office

Victims have been named as Las Vegas attorney Dennis Prince and his wife Ashley

Amelia Neath
Wednesday 10 April 2024 10:37 BST
Police say two people killed during law office shooting in Las Vegas

An attorney and his wife have been killed in a horror shooting at a Las Vegas law office, where a gunman opened fire during a child custody hearing – before turning the gun on himself.

The shooter, a man in his 70s, killed himself after fatally shooting across the table at two people during the deposition hearing in the City National Bank building, police said.

Las Vegas police said that the gunman had “very specific targets” during the attack.

The three deceased from the law firm shooting have been named by the Clark County Coroner’s Office as 57-year-old Dennis Prince, 30-year-old Ashley Prince and 77-year-old Joseph Houston.

The case and manner of death of each individual are yet to be released by the coroner.

Law enforcement officials have not confirmed the identity of the shooter but did say he was a man in his 70s – or the victims – a man in his 50s and woman in her 30s.

Nevada Attorney General Aaron D Ford named the victims as his friend Dennis Prince, a Las Vegas attorney, and wife Ashley Prince.

Dennis Prince, a top Las Vegas attorney, was killed in the shooting (Supplied)

“I’m devastated,” Mr Ford wrote on X. “Dennis Prince was not only a brilliant attorney, but he was also my former law partner and my friend. I can’t believe he’s gone.

“I’m extremely saddened by his and Ashley’s death, and my heart goes out to their families, especially their children.”

Prince’s former law partner Robert Eglet remembered him as a father of four whose death is “not just a loss to his family, but also to the community,” reported 8 News Now.

The shooting unfolded on Monday in Prince’s law firm office Prince Law Group in a mid-rise office building on West Charleston Boulevard.

Las Vegas Police Homicide Lieutenant Jason Johansson told reporters at a news conference that seven people were in the room at the time of the deposition hearing.

Several minutes after the hearing began, the shooter suddenly stood up and opened fire at the two victims across the table, Lt Johansson said, calling it a “traumatic event”.

The victims were in the room for a child custody hearing, police say (AP)
The shooting occcurred in the Prince Law Group office suite (CBS)

The four other people in the room, including a court reporter, were able to quickly escape and call the police, he said.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said officers were called to the scene just after 10am local time, they wrote in a series of updates on X.

The two victims and the shooter were all pronounced dead at the scene.

A specific motive for the attack has not been confirmed by police but the LVMPD said they believe it was targeted.

Hundreds of people inside the building were evacuated during the incident, the department wrote on X, with Lt Johansson adding that they were taken to the Red Rock Casino across the road and then slowly escorted back to retrieve their belongings.

Dan Musgrove, who works down the hall from the law firm, told FOX5 that he saw two people from the deposition screaming and were visibly upset, telling him that there was a shooter in their office, so he ushered them inside his office and locked the door.

“I think they were in shock, and it was tragic to see what was going on. They knew shots had been fired. They believed someone was shot and potentially killed,” he told the outlet.

Mr Musgrove also said the sense of shock also overcame him in the moment.

“We were all just nervous as to what would happen if the shooter came to our office on the same floor,” he added.

Mr Eglet told 3 News that the shooting was “senseless and tragic,” saying that Prince leaves behind four children including a son around the age of 12, two adult children, and a baby with Ashley.

His oldest son allegedly works at Prince’s office, but Mr Eglet told the outlet he was not there at the time of the shooting.

Hundreds of workers had to be evacuated from the City National Bank building on West Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas (AP)

Tom Letizia, a friend of Prince and a political consultant, said in a statement to 8 News Now that “Dennis was not only a close friend of mine but also a respected figure within our legal community, whose absence has left us all in mourning”.

“The news of this tragedy has profoundly shocked me and our entire community,” he added.

The Prince Law Group acknowledged the tragedy in a statement on Monday evening.

“With profound sadness, Prince Law Group would like to thank everyone who has reached out to us with heartfelt messages of concern and sympathy over the tragic violence that occurred this morning in our offices,” the law group wrote.

Police swarm the outside of the City National Bank following a shooting at a law firm office (8 News Now)

According to a profile for Prince on the Prince Law Group website, he founded the law firm and is “recognised as one the best trial lawyers in the State of Nevada”.

Prince was admitted to the bar in 1993 and has gone on to successfully handle more than 50 cases at the Nevada Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals among other achievements.

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