A homicide suspect was arrested in Las Vegas Tuesday following a nearly two-week manhunt after he allegedly broke into a Barstow home and fatally shot a father who was checking on his elderly neighbor, officials said.
Although four teenage boys were arrested immediately following the Nov. 14 incident on the 800 block of Keith Street, the man identified by Barstow police as the gunman, 18-year-old Leslie Hawkins, had remained at large.
Patrick Smith, 41, was shot eight times after going to the home of his neighbor, who had called him for assistance because she heard noises outside, investigators previously said.
He died a week later on Thanksgiving Day, despite undergoing multiple surgeries. Smith is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Smith, and the couple’s 5-year-old son.
This Monday, police received information that Hawkins — a Barstow resident — had fled to the Las Vegas area, according to a news release.
Barstow detectives contacted an FBI task force that works with local law enforcement in the Las Vegas area, and a search for the suspect was launched.
The following day, authorities were able to track the suspect to an apartment complex in the 2600 block of South Nellis Boulevard, on the outskirts of Vegas. After confirming with a witness that Hawkins was inside a unit there, a perimeter was established and the agents began communicating with the suspect via phone.
Following around 30 minutes of negotiation, Hawkins exited the building at about 9:50 a.m. with an infant in his arms, authorities said.
He was subsequently taken into custody on an outstanding murder warrant, according to police.
Barstow police detectives have gone to Las Vegas to arrange for the Hawkins’ extradition back to California.
The names of the other four suspects arrested in the case are being withheld because they are all minors.
According to police, officers were already in the neighborhood searching for burglary suspects when they heard the fatal gunfire.
They arrested two boys, ages 15 and 16, found hiding near Smith’s wounded body, and another 16-year-old and a 17-year-old boy were taken into custody a short time later.
All four had been held on suspicion of burglary.
A loaded handgun was recovered from the backyard where the victim was shot, officials said.
A GoFundMe campaign set up to raise funds for the Smith family has raised more than $46,000.