Police: Gunshot in ‘Thunder’ case narrowly missed
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A man who tried to make off with a suitcase full of costumes and props used by the all-male revue Thunder From Down Under fired a shot at the head of one cast member before being subdued and left with a black eye, police said Wednesday.
The thief pulled a .44-caliber Magnum handgun before another cast member jostled his hand, police said in an arrest report that provided a dramatic account of the behind-the-scenes fight Tuesday evening at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino.
The bullet struck a wall, the gun fell to the floor, and six well-muscled members of the Australia-based group held the man until security arrived, the report said.
The suspect, who appears to be in his 20s, identified himself, but police suspect he provided a fake name. He suffered unspecified injuries and was hospitalized before being jailed.
A jailhouse booking photo shows a black eye and facial bruises from the backstage scuffle.
“The suspect definitely got the worst of it,” Las Vegas police Officer Laura Meltzer said.
The suspect was awaiting an initial court appearance on felony attempted murder, armed robbery and burglary with a weapon charges that could get him decades in state prison if he is convicted. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
One cast member was treated at the Excalibur for minor injuries.
The weapon was seized as evidence. Police said it wasn’t registered.
Several people told investigators they noticed the man walking around the showroom before Tuesday’s performance wearing a SWAT hat, fireman’s shirt and police-style boots. They told investigators that no one approached him because they thought he was a new dancer.
When confronted, the man allegedly told the show director that he bought the items for his girlfriend.
Performers later realized the items he wore had been taken from their dressing areas, according to the police report.
Thunder From Down Under, an all-male group featuring chiseled shirtless men, has wowed millions of viewers, mostly women, since 1991.
A Thunder From Down Under executive didn’t respond Wednesday to several messages from The Associated Press.
Hotel operations and the show schedule weren’t affected, said Gordon Absher, a spokesman for hotel owner MGM Resorts International.
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