Disabled Army vet from Twin Cities is shot dead in Las Vegas; gunman jailed

July 24, 2018

A disabled Army veteran from the Twin Cities was shot and killed in a back-alley confrontation in Las Vegas with an off-duty security guard.

Keith Friese, 32, of Ramsey, was shot midday Thursday in the parking lot of the Fun City Motel just off the Strip, police said.

Spencer S. Trevathan, 29, remains jailed on a murder charge but is claiming self-defense. Police say Friese was unarmed.

According to the police arrest report, video surveillance footage shows Trevathan on a balcony exchanging words with Friese in the alley.

Trevathan came down, approached Friese and appeared to shove him with both hands, the report read, citing the video. Friese pushed Trevathan with both hands, and then Trevantan drew a black firearm from a holster on his right hip.

Trevathan shot Friese in the left upper torso, sending the wounded man stumbling. Trevathan came to Frieses aid and called 911, the report continued.

Police arrived and seized Trevathans semiautomatic handgun and booked him into jail. He declined to give a statement to police and remains there without bail.

Friese was taken by ambulance to a hospital and was dead barely 20 minutes later, the report read.

Trevathans Facebook page notes that he also is an Army veteran and a firearms instructor at the Strip Gun Club, located around the block from the motel, which was where Trevathan lives.

Kelli Friese said she learned of her stepsons death in a phone call from the coroners office.

We have some terrible, tragic news, she recalled the person on the other end of the line saying. I dropped the phone and threw up. I couldnt believe what I heard.

Keith Friese grew up in Ramsey and joined the Army after graduating from Anoka High School. He served in the Army for four years and was honorably discharged after suffering injuries in a car crash on a base in South Korea.

His stepmother said that hes had numerous back surgeries related to the crash and has been receiving disability benefits. For the past couple of years hes been traveling around the country on his own looking for a new place to live.

Keith was not a confrontation person, she said. Weve never heard him yell or get in an argument. When he would get mad, he would giggle. Thats how we knew he was mad. ... He would never get in a fight or pick a fight.

Paul Walsh 612-673-4482

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