Las Vegas gunman ‘not afraid of death’

Al Jazeera’s Melissa Chan spoke with Jerad Miller weeks before the shooting that left him and four others dead

“I’m not afraid of death,” alleged Las Vegas shooter Jerad Miller told Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan in an interview just weeks before he and his wife are believed to have killed three people in a weekend pizza parlor ambush. “I’m afraid of being a slave. I’m afraid of being under tyranny.”

The interview took place during the April standoff between militiamen and law enforcement officers at the Nevada ranch of Cliven Bundy. 

Ammon Bundy, the rancher’s son told the Associated Press that the couple was "very radical" and said they did not "align themselves" with the protest's main issues.


Miller expressed admiration for Cliven Bundy, whom he praised for “raising free range cattle, which are good for you … We are just backing him up.”

Chan recalled meeting Miller in the morning on the road up to Cliven Bundy's Bunkerville ranch before breakfast on April 16. Miller was coming off overnight guard duty. He carried what she called "a beat-up AK-47 and 9 millimeter Smith & Wesson."

"My call sign is Joker, like the DC Comic character," Miller said in the interview. "I figured if the government is going to label me a terrorist ... why not be call sign Joker for the most notorious terrorist in the DC universe?"


Jerad Miller and Amanda Miller have breakfast at the encampment at the Bundy Ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada, in April..
Al Jazeera America

The Bundy family cooked and served pancakes for volunteer militia members, Chan said. Amanda Miller, who authorities believe shot her husband before shooting herself, was with him for some of the time at the militia encampment. 

Most militia volunteers did not want to speak on camera, but Miller was friendly, and Chan spent the better part of the morning with him.

He told Chan he believed that the country's law enforcement had become far too militarized and weaponized and that citizens had to exercise their Second Amendment rights in order to protect themselves against a federal government that he believed had run amok.

In the interview, Miller told Chan, "We want our rights back. We want to restore our republic. We don’t want to overthrow the government. We just want the government to  be under control. People like me have known they’ve been spying on us for a long time. We didn’t exactly know to the extent."

Amanda Miller -- his 25-year-old wife who police believe joined her husband in the Las Vegas ambush and then shot first him, and then herself -- arrived later in the morning. Information about the suspects gleaned from police and social media painted a picture of a pair with increasingly extremist views on government and law enforcement, including an ominous Facebook post a day before the shooting.

"I remember the care with which Jerad Miller got her breakfast and served her. After her meal, he also took her plate away," Chan said. "They seemed to have a loving and caring relationship, at least in the brief time in which we observed them."

Al Jazeera. With reporting from Melissa Chan.

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