Suspected shooter clings to life

A Silver Springs man suspected of killing the mother of his children then turning the gun on himself is clinging to life in a Reno hospital, an official said Tuesday.

Lyon County Sheriff's Lt. Bryan Veil said Leland Scott Lawson, 33, is on life support at Renown Regional Medical Center following the Monday afternoon incident at Tia Lee Shine's home on Deodar Street, just two doors away from her mother, in Silver Springs.

According to Veil, Lawson, in a 24-second phone call to 911 just before 1 p.m., said he had shot his "girlfriend" and he was going to shoot himself. He went on to say the couple's 16-month-old son was also in the home, and to "tell the cop to come in," said Veil. Lawson then hung up. Repeated calls by dispatch went unanswered.

When police arrived at 1:05 p.m. they surrounded the home.

"We didn't know if were dealing with an armed subject still. We have to make sure that we're prepared before we go running into something like that," he said.

But concerned for the child, officers entered the home before SWAT arrived and found Shine dead on the living room floor, said Veil.

An autopsy performed Tuesday indicated she died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

Lying nearby, said Veil, was Lawson, found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A .25-caliber handgun believed used in the shooting was near him, said Veil. He was taken from the scene by helicopter to the Reno trauma center.

Veil said the couple's son, born January 2010, was found unharmed and asleep in his crib.

He said the couple's oldest child, a 5-year-old girl, was at school during the incident.

Investigators are still trying to piece together the events that led up to the fatal showdown.

According to Veil, on April 11 there was a report of money missing from the home and Lawson was the suspect. Thus far, a search of police records does not indicate Shine ever reported any other concerns about Lawson, or sought a protective order against him, said Veil.

"It appears it was an on-again-off-again type of thing," he said of the couple's relationship.

The children are in the care of Shine's mother.


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