Davion Thomas Treadwell spent nine month in the hospital before succumbing in September to complications from a gunshot injury to his neck.
According to North Las Vegas police, the victim was shot at 2:05 a.m. Jan. 23, near East Centennial Parkway & Losee Road. Although he was killed on September 10, police did not make any arrests as detectives determined that the shooting was self-defense.
Johnny Coleman claimed that Treadwell was the youngest of his four children. He was a Mojave High School grad and a licensed massage therapist. Treadwell’s mother, Marquita Coleman, said she was grateful that she had nine extra months with her son while he fought for his life. The woman said her son’s smile never diminished during his hospitalization.
“He’s still smiling down on us now, letting us know he’s OK,”In mid-December, she stated these words.
Multiple agencies in Clark County compiled data that showed that police investigated at most 245 homicides between 2017 and 2021. That’s the most in the county since 2017, when 264 people were killed, including 58 in the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting on Oct. 1.
Treadwell was one among 195 Clark County victims last year. According to records kept by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he was one of 169 men who were shot and killed, as well as one of 109 Black victims. He also died in self-defense.
Access to firearms
Southern Nevada’s largest law enforcement agency, the Metropolitan Police Department, reported 185 of last year’s killings. It was the busiest season since Metro homicide Lieutenant Ray Spencer assumed control of the unit in 2018. Spencer blamed the high number on easy access to guns in a December interview. He mentioned loaded firearms found in cars and nightstands.
“The access juveniles and criminals are able to get firearms is concerning,”He stated. “That’s probably the biggest reason on what’s driving our homicide numbers is that guns are so easily stolen and accessible.”
According to Review-Journal records and coroner data, nearly 70% of all homicides in the county were caused by gunshot wounds. Twenty victims were below 18.
Review-Journal data show that at most 41 people were killed in domestic relationships with parents, children, or spouses. Nine children were also killed in neglect and abuse situations, while 10 were murdered-suicide victims. 36 of the cases did not reveal the relationship between the victim and the killer.
Spencer believes that child cases will stay with him the longest. He remembers walking into crime scenes where children’s toys were scattered and scenes where children were witness to a parent’s death.
“When I go into these scenes and you see toys in a bedroom and a mom senselessly murdered, it has an impact on anybody who works these scenes,”He stated. “What could have been done to prevent it from someone killing another person?”
Spencer will retire in May. Spencer said that his most proud moment as homicide lieutenant was when he was able to identify Liam Husted, and then arrest his mother.
The San Jose, California, boy’s body was found in May just off state Route 160 in Mountain Springs. He was misidentified as another boy before a friend of Liam’s family who saw news reports contacted San Jose police because she believed he looked like Liam. Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, his mother was later found in Denver and taken into custody.
Liam, a boy with autism spectrum disorder was found naked in a wooded area.
“Samantha indicated that she had watched television crime shows,”In August, a detective testified. “and thought that by removing his clothing it would make it more difficult to associate him with her after she left the scene.”
Rodriguez was charged with murder and will be tried in February.
“It haunted me that this could potentially be an unsolved case,”Spencer stated. “We were sending pollen analysis to a lab from nasal swabs to see if we can determine what region of the country he was in.”
Homicides in nine cities have been on the rise nationally. Spencer stated that 64 percent of all homicides are solved by police departments in the United States. As of Jan. 1, Metro’s solvability rate for 2021 killings was 91 percent.
“We’re going to close out the year still with a close to 50 percent increase in murder rates but solvability is still going to be over 90 percent, which is unbelievable,”He stated this in mid-December. “My job is to make sure our solve rate stays above 90 percent, which is unheard of, but we’re still there even with the increase.”
Not included in the Review-Journal’s countywide totals were eight cold cases with new developments last year, including four solved by Metro using advanced DNA technology and a donation from philanthropist Justin Woo.
Metro last year investigated seven cases involving people who had died prior to 2021. Their deaths were not ruled as homicides until 2021.
All across the valley
Las Vegas and Henderson police also investigated five overdose deaths as homicides last year, despite the Clark County coroner’s office ruling them accidental deaths.
Seven people were killed in homicides throughout the year in Clark County that had not been publicly disclosed by a law enforcement agency, according to information provided by the coroner’s office. Police from Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas and North Las Vegas said that they weren’t involved in investigating the deaths.
According to Review-Journal records, 33 homicides were investigated by North Las Vegas police last year. Nine of these killings were gang-related. Homicide Sgt. Katie Gaspardi explained that the police are making proactive stops to investigate gang activity.
“We’re trying to push for more education with juveniles,”Alex Rodriguez, North Las Vegas police officer. “We try to not write citations or put them into the system, but educate them as opposed to booking them in the juvenile system with minor crimes.”
At least two of last year’s gang homicides in North Las Vegas involved juveniles, and several killings were in retaliation for a 2020 New Year’s Eve party shooting that involved rival gangs.
Based on Review-Journal records Henderson police investigated 14 murders last year.
The Nevada Department of Corrections suspect Andrew Hilford of the March stabbing death of his cellmate, Isaiah Sharp, at High Desert State Prison. Oscar Martinez, a Fort Mojave Indian Tribal member, was stabbed to death twelve days prior in Laughlin. Ethan Bright was also arrested in connection to the incident.
Law enforcement shot fewer people across the board in 2021. Metro saw 10 police shootings. Six were fatal while one was a suicide. Police in North Las Vegas were not involved. Henderson police also recorded two shootings, one fatal.