Authorities are seeking murder charges against a 25-year-old man they believe is responsible for a string of five apparently random killings this week in northern Nevada.
Lyon County Sheriff Allen Veil said it appears Jeremiah Bean acted alone in the shootings at two homes in the rural town of Fernley, and another about 48 kilometres west at the Interstate 80 exit for the Mustang Ranch near Reno.
Bean was arrested Monday on burglary charges and identified as a "person of interest" in the string of homicides, but authorities now want to add open murder, arson, robbery, gun and grand larceny charges.
Investigators said Robert Pape and Dorothy Pape, both 84, were found dead early Monday in a house in Fernley, a city of 19,000. Angie Duff, 67, and Lester Leiber, 69, were found dead in a home a half-block away.
Veil said it appears Bean took the Papes' vehicle and ended up near the Mustang exit. It was there that he allegedly shot 52-year-old Eliazar Graham, a newspaper deliveryman from Sparks, and took his vehicle.
Bean had been staying two houses away from Duff's home, Veil said. Authorities said they haven't determined a motive.
Veil described the attacks as "absolutely shocking to us."
"It is senseless. The people we have talked to, they don't know whether to be paranoid, scared to death, shocked, angry," Veil told reporters Tuesday at a news conference.
Bean was being held at the Lyon County jail. He has a local arrest record and a felony conviction related to burglary and attempted grand larceny, deputies said. He has also acknowledged gang ties.
"He had some evidence that came from one of the residences where we had two victims," Veil said. "He was in one of those residences where there were two deceased individuals and had some of their property when he was arrested."