The victim in Saturday’s fatal knifing on a pedestrian bridge along the Strip was a police officer in Edmonds, Wash., authorities revealed early this week. He was off-duty and just visiting Las Vegas.
The fallen officer was identified as Tyler Steffins, 33. News of his death stunned his colleagues at the police department, where he served as a patrol officer for three years.
Edmonds Police Chief Michelle Bennett called Steffins’ passing a “tragic loss.”
Tyler was a valued member of our police family whose infectious smile and contagious laugh endeared him to his peers,” the chief said. “We will miss him terribly but cherish the times we had with him.”
Steffins is survived by a wife, two young children, and other relatives. Steffins graduated first in his class while attending the police academy in Washington State.
Later, he worked day and night shifts as a uniformed officer. Previously, Steffins served as a corporal in the US Marines during Operation Enduring Freedom.
“He is incredibly missed in our building already,” Acting Edmonds Assistant Police Chief Josh McClure commented to KING, a Washington State TV station, shortly after Steffins’ passing. “He was a loving father, husband, son, sibling, friend and colleague.”
Defendant Remains in Jail
Freddy Allen, 58, of uncertain address, and who reportedly goes by the nickname of “Lucky,” was arrested for the fatal stabbing. On Monday, he was being so “disruptive,” authorities chose not to transport him from the Clark County Detention Center to the Las Vegas Justice Court for a scheduled initial hearing, KSNV, a local television station, reported.
As of Tuesday, Allen remained in custody in the detention center. He apparently is being held without bail. Allen is next scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
He is charged with open murder with the use of a deadly weapon in connection with Saturday’s homicide. If convicted, he could face many years in prison.
Based on initial news reports, when Las Vegas Metro police officers first arrived at the pedestrian bridge at about 9:45 pm, Allen allegedly had a knife in his hand. Upon seeing an officer, Allen allegedly tossed the knife into the Statue of Liberty fountain in front of New York–New York Hotel & Casino, KLAS, another local television station, reported.
To avoid the police, Allen allegedly ran down a stairway. He then fled toward New York-New York. A short time later, he was apprehended by officers, police said.
Stabbed with Hunting Knife
Officers soon recovered the weapon. It was described as a hunting knife with a six-inch blade, police said.
The incident apparently stemmed from Steffins petting dogs belonging to a passerby. The man complained to Steffins that he was petting his dogs too aggressively, police said.
On Saturday night, Allen went up to Steffins and apparently used the hunting knife to stab him in the chest, police said.
I think he just stabbed me,” a witness heard Steffins saying.
A few hours later, Steffins passed away while undergoing emergency treatment at University Medical Center.
Defendant’s Prior Crimes
Allen was arrested twice in recent months for violent crimes on the Strip, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. In November, Allen stabbed a man in an alley between the Royal Casino Hotel and Harrah’s Las Vegas.
The victim was given staples to his head, 16 stitches to his right arm, and five stitches to his left arm, according to the Review-Journal.
In September, Allen, armed with a knife, allegedly threatened a security officer at the Fashion Show mall, police said.
Allen was believed to be homeless, KLAS said. He sometimes would show up on the Strip with a pit bull. It had pink toenails. Tourists liked to photograph it, KLAS adds.
Also. there have been several unrelated violent crimes on the Strip over the past few months involving multiple suspects.
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