Suspect in LASD Deputy’s Shooting Wanted to ‘Make It On His Own or Die,’ Utah Police Say

Data pix.

Rhett Mckenzie Nelson appears in a booking photo released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on June 12, 2019.

The Utah man suspected in the seemingly random shooting of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy earlier this week left his family’s home three weeks ago with a gun and a grim-sounding mission statement, police said.

“He had somehow communicated to them the message that he wanted to make it on his own or die,” Capt. Mike Giles of the St. George Police Department in Utah, said Wednesday.

Neither police nor the family of 30-year-old Rhett McKenzie Nelson believed he was a danger to himself or others when he went missing on May 27, Giles said.

But three weeks later, police say, Nelson opened fire on a downtown Los Angeles street and again inside an Alhambra fast food restaurant in the span of one hour, leaving one man dead and a sheriff’s deputy gravely injured in a pair of shootings.

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