A man went to a firearms class and attempted to steal a gun, but he was caught in the act. That’s when all hell broke loose as the man stabbed a police officer while he was being chased. The suspect found himself on the receiving end of “frontier justice” — and it was all caught on video.
Marvin Payton Jr, also called “Marvon,” was well known to the Las Vegas Police Department. So, when a local shooting range called “Range 702” placed a 911 call to the LVPD reporting a suspect attempting to steal a firearm, responding officers weren’t surprised to discover Payton was the man behind the attempted robbery.
In video footage released by the LVPD, Payton is first seen inside a classroom at the shooting range. The class was held for those interested in concealed carry permits, and the video shows Payton sitting down and rummaging through a backpack. That’s when the owner of the backpack stopped him and alerted employees in the room that Payton was attempting to steal a firearm.
At that point, Payton is escorted out of the room and 911 was called by an employee of the range. “Three employees escorted Mr. Payton out of the business and waited for officers to arrive,” the LVPD narrator said in the video. “Officer Ngyuen instructs Mr. Payton to stand in front of the patrol vehicle.” That’s when all hell broke loose as Payton became combative.
“Mr. Payton ignored the instructions while running away and hiding his hand in his jacket pocket,” the police narrator adds. “Officers attempted to grab Mr. Payton but he refused to listen to the officers.” At that point, Payton takes out a screwdriver as the officers pursue him and violently attacks the officers. The 27-year-old suspect made “several overhand strikes with the screwdriver,” injuring a female officer in the head and neck area.
As the female police officer fell to the ground, Officer Ngyuen and three employees of the gun range draw their weapons and discharged 14 shots into Payton. According to the Associated Press, “Marvin Payton Jr, 27, was shot 14 times and died outside Range 702, Assistant Clark County Sheriff Brett Zimmerman told reporters. The injured officer was treated at a hospital and is recovering from stab wounds and a broken facial bone. Her name wasn’t made public.”
Sadly, this wasn’t Marvin Payton Jr’s first time assaulting a cop. “North Las Vegas police detailed an incident with Payton at a Walmart in 2017,” Fox5 reported. “The department said Payton charged at a police officer who arrived to investigate a car theft. Payton reportedly placed his hands on the officer’s gun holster and began to manipulate the safety levers. After the struggle ended, Payton was taken to the hospital where police say he told a surveying officer that he wanted the officer’s gun and that it was a ‘nice gun.'”
Police said two good Samaritans at the Walmart helped gain control of Payton in 2017 when he struggled with the officer. The officer suffered minor injuries. In that incident, North Las Vegas Police arrested Payton on charges of attempted murder, battery on a protected person, and attempted robbery.
“After multiple competency hearings, he was eventually sentenced to three to five years in prison on a charge of attempted grand larceny of a firearm,” Fox5 reported. However, the convicted felon was back on the streets after his stint in prison and found his way to the shooting range. This time, Payton wasn’t so lucky.
The names of the three shooting range employees who assisted the police officers were not made public, but the LVPD wanted to extend their gratitude. “Their involvement actually helped our officers and could have saved our officer’s life,” Assistant Sheriff Zimmerman said.
There is nothing good about any loss of life, but the brazen, brutal attack on the female officer by Payton caused the three employees to make a split-second decision in which they had few options. Thankfully, innocent lives were saved by civilians not afraid to put their lives on the line to aid those police officers in harm’s way.