A notorious gang member charged with the March fatal shooting of a Las Vegas man was identified with the help of a casino players’ reward card that placed him close to the scene of the crime.
Las Vegas Metro Police also used surveillance footage from the Eureka Casino to identify Deandre Gathrite, 32, who was playing video poker at the casino on East Sahara shortly before Christopher Brown, 42, was shot and killed a block away.
Gathrite was arrested May 6 and has been charged with one count of murder with a deadly weapon and one count of possessing a gun by a prohibited person, according to court records. Gathrite’s Facebook page says he is originally from Long Beach, California.
On March 22 at 2:36am, police were dispatched to an apartment complex in the 2600 block of Van Patten Street near Sahara Avenue and Paradise Road. They had been alerted to a possible shooting in the area by ShotSpotter technology, which uses sophisticated acoustic sensors to detect gunfire.
Officers found Brown lying in the parking lot of the apartment block with multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to the Sunrise Trauma Center where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators identified Gathrite on security camera footage from nearby businesses, including the Eureka and a gas station on Sahara, as someone fitting a witness’ description of the man who shot Brown.
Staff at the Eureka confirmed Gathrite was a regular, while his player card showed that he had played a video poker machine from 1:12 a.m. to 2:29 a.m., when he abruptly left the casino — seven minutes before police were alerted to the shooting.
Prior Murder Charge
Gathrite has a long and violent criminal history. It’s not the first time he’s been charged with murder. In fact, it’s not the first time he has been charged with killing someone on Van Patten Street.
In a case that was eerily similar, police were called to the parking lot of the same 2600 block of Van Patten Street on the night of February 11, 2018 to find 26-year-old Kenyon Tyler suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Tyler was rushed to the Sunrise Trauma Center where he later died.
Prosecutors believe that Gathrite and Tyler were from rival street gangs and had argued about a drugs deal before the killing.
Court records seen by the Las Vegas Review-Journal show the murder charge in the Tyler case was eventually dismissed, although the documents didn’t immediately indicate why. Per the arrest report, Gathrite claimed Tyler had a weapon, so it’s possible the shooting was judged to have been in self-defense.
Prior charges of trespassing, kidnapping, and domestic battery have also been dismissed. In 2011 Gathrite was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm into an occupied structure.
At the time of the Brown killing, he was awaiting trial on charges of drug trafficking.
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