Family, friends shocked by Lafayette couple’s Las Vegas killing spree

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LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A husband and wife from Lafayette are suspected of going on a killing spree in Las Vegas on Sunday, gunning down two police officers and a bystander, before killing themselves.

Jerad and Amanda Miller used to live on Weaver Street in Lafayette. They were married in Tippecanoe County in September of 2012.

A friend told FOX 59 they packed up for Las Vegas earlier this year, looking for a new life.

“I couldn’t see them doing anything like that,” said Leslie Schneidt.

Schneidt considered 31-year-old Jerad Miller and his wife 21-year-old Amanda friends, not murderers. Schneidt went to high school with Amanda in Lafayette. The couple even lived with her for a time.

“She was so quiet. She was just the sweetest person you’d ever meet in your life,” she said.

But Schneidt said Jerad and Amanda’s move to Las Vegas in January was politically motivated.

“They wanted to be with people that had all the same views as them,” she said, “He always had his opinions on what was right and wrong.”

Investigators in Nevada believe the couple held an ideology “along the lines of militia and white supremacists.”

Police said they killed two officers at a pizza place and a bystander in a Wal-Mart store in Las Vegas on Sunday, before taking their own lives in a supposed suicide pact.

Evidence online and from Jerad’s Facebook page shows he protested at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada earlier this year.

“I feel sorry for any federal agents that want to come in here and try to push us around or anything like that. I really don’t want violence toward them, but if there’s going to come bring violence to us, well, if that’s the language they want to speak, we’ll learn it,” said Miller in a clip posted to YouTube, cited from a Reno NBC-affiliate.

Leslie Schneidt said she last talked to Amanda in May, and her friend told her the couple was happy, posing in costume as a photo opportunity for tourists.

“She’d be like things were going so great, and I love my job up here,” said Schneidt, “He dressed up as Joker, and she dressed up as Harley Quinn. They were making really good off that.”

Monday night Amanda’s family in Lafayette said they were not ready to talk about their loved one’s death or the circumstances surrounding it.

“We’d just like to take our time,” said a family member.

The family said they found out about the circumstances surrounding Amanda’s death on Monday morning, when a national news network called them.

Lafayette Police confirm they’ve had contact with the couple in the past. They’re also actively working with authorities in Las Vegas on the case. 

“The fact that there are potentially ties to our area just makes it hit home a little bit more. It’s just disappointing to learn,” said Patrick Flannelly, Lafayette Police Chief.