Hans Walters Murder-Suicide: Las Vegas Police Officer Allegedly Shot Family, Burned Home, Killed Self

01/23/2013 03:50 pm ET

Nevada police said that Lt. Hans Walters, a 20-year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, killed his family and set fire to his home before fatally shooting himself on Jan. 21.

A standoff at Walters' Boulder City, Nev., home occurred Monday, after an unidentified male caller claimed to a 911 dispatcher that he had killed his wife and child, set his house aflame and would "injure any officer that attempted to come to the scene."

Units from multiple departments responded, including a Las Vegas SWAT team. Officers reportedly encountered Walters in front of his house with a handgun. According to CNN, Walters ignored commands from police to drop his weapon and, instead, returned to the burning house.

Authorities believe the off-duty lieutenant shot himself after he entered the house.

The Clark County Coroner's Office confirmed Tuesday that Walter's 46-year-old wife, Kathryn, and 5-year-old son, Maximilian, each died of a gunshot wound to the head.

According to Fox local affiliate KVVU, Walters had been recently promoted to lieutenant in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, where he supervised patrol officers. Walters' wife was a former Las Vegas police officer.

Reports initially did not identify Walters by name, referring only to his rank. However, the Associated Press confirmed that he was the owner of the house in which the incident occurred.

Fellow officers were shocked and saddened by the news. Some neighbors described the family as reclusive, saying that they weren't even aware that Walters had a child, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

CBS Las Vegas reported that a makeshift memorial has been set up in front of the Walters' home.

Earlier this week, an off-duty police officer in Oregon became involved in an armed standoff with sheriff's deputies at his home, following an alleged incident of domestic violence. The suspect and another officer were injured in that incident, but not seriously.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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