Rhett McKenzie Nelson Wiki
Rhett McKenzie Nelson of St. George, Utah, was arrested in Long Beach on Tuesday morning, less than a day after police say he opened fire on Deputy Joseph Solano inside a Jack in the Box in Alhambra.
Rhett McKenzie from Utah who had been missing for weeks is suspected in a pair of shootings that left a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy on life support and another man dead in downtown L.A., authorities said Tuesday
The suspect, now identified as 30-year-old Rhett Mckenzie Nelson, was located in the car and taken into custody … Nelson, from St. George, Utah, is believed to have shot and killed another man an hour before shooting Solano, police said.
– via @ABC https://t.co/oeWJhsFIs6
— MrKW (@4MrKW) June 12, 2019
Rhett McKenzie Age
He is 30 Years old.
Rhett McKenzie Nelson Arrested
Nelson was captured by Long Beach police after he called his father in Utah and referred to “committing murder in Southern California,” according to Sheriff’s Department homicide Capt. Kent Wegener. Villanueva said there is evidence that Nelson referenced killing two people during the phone call.
The SUV came to a stop in a driveway in the 2400 block of Granada Avenue, and Nelson was taken into custody without incident, police said. A revolver recovered inside the vehicle was similar to the weapon used in the attack on Solano, Wegener said.
BREAKING: @LASDHQ confirms suspect in shooting of L.A. sheriff’s deputy Joseph Solano is Rhett McKenzie Nelson, 30, of Utah. He may have been involved in a separate homicide in Los Angeles hours earlier on Monday.
— James Queally (@JamesQueallyLAT) June 11, 2019
Rhett McKenzie Nelson Father
Nelson’s father then called Long Beach police, which conducted a “reverse lookup” of the phone number Nelson called from, Wegener said. Officers were dispatched to Nelson’s location at a church and spotted his vehicle driving away. The vehicle matched the description of the Kia Sorrento linked to the attack on the deputy the night before, authorities said.
Cause of Shooting Remains Unclear
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva discussed the arrest during an afternoon press conference on June 11. Nelson was picked up around 10:40 a.m. by the Long Beach Police Department after observing a vehicle in the 2400 block of Granada Avenue in Long Beach, which matched the description of the suspect responsible for the shooting, a white-colored Kia Sorrento SUV with paper plates. Inside the vehicle, authorities said that they found a revolver, along with the maroon shirt and hat the suspect was shown to be wearing on the surveillance video. Nelson was arrested around 30 miles south of where Deputy Solano was shot.
The suspect is currently in custody for questioning as the motive for the shooting remains unclear. “The shooting is on video. There doesn’t appear to be an overt motive. There is no audio to the video, so we don’t know if there were words exchanged,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Captain Kent Wegner told the media.
Nelson Is Suspect in Another Shooting
Police mentioned that he’s also the suspect of the fatal shooting of another man in the Westlake District of Los Angeles that same night. KTLA reports that Nelson was in a largely commercial neighborhood when he “exchanged words” with the driver of a car. That confrontation resulted in the other person being shot dead, the station said in their report. That shooting occurred around an hour before Deputy Solano was shot. The victim in the Westlake District shooting has been described as being 30 years old.
Sheriff’s Captain Kent Wegener said that Nelson was arrested after he called his father from a church in Long Beach to say that he had committed “murder in Southern California.” Nelson’s father contacted police who traced the phone call and were then able to locate the suspect.
Nelson’s Family Statement
Before his arrest, Nelson was reported as a missing person in Utah and his family was concerned for his whereabouts, officials said. Fliers had been posted about Nelson’s disappearance on social media from parents Bradley and Jean Nelson, along with his sister, Kitty. In a Facebook post on May 30, Nelson’s father wrote that his son was last seen on May 26. Bradley Nelson wrote that the suspect left home with nothing but his phone, which had since died, leaving his clothes and computer behind. The post concluded with the lines, “He has a history of opiate abuse and has been clean for about 6 months, but we know what a terrible struggle that is. We are praying for his safe return.” Captain Wegener said that Nelson first came to the Southern California-area in the first week of June.
#LosAngelesCounty #SheriffsDeputy #JosephSolano, #Shot in #RandomAttack Monday has #Died. He had been in grave condition since Monday night, when investigators say a #Utah man, 30-year-old #RhettMcKenzieNelson shot him in the head for no apparent reason. https://t.co/jlys0S4VOn
— R.C. Jackson (@RCJackson0045) June 13, 2019
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Bradley Nelson said, “My wife Jean and I, along with our family, are saddened beyond words to hear of the shooting of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Solano, and to learn that our son Rhett is being held in connection with this horrifying and senseless attack. Rhett has been missing since May 26, 2019, leading us to file a missing person’s report with authorities. We have spent much time and effort in an attempt to help Rhett and bring him home safely, and we have been distraught and worried since his disappearance. We are cooperating fully with authorities and will provide them with all the information they request concerning Rhett and his struggles. We ask that people please pray for Deputy Solano and his family.”
Rhett McKenzie Nelson Facebook
Nelson was a prolific Facebook poster. Many of his posts deal with conspiracy theories, including an apparent belief that the earth is flat. In a July 2018 post, Nelson wrote,“People need help and the police are half the problem. They’re as corrupt, if not more, than anyone. Who wants to talk solutions? I’m a computer guy. #FightBackAmerica.” In the wake of his arrest, Nelson’s Facebook post has been besieged with hateful comments.
Deputy Solano Is Listed as Being in ‘Grave Condition’
Deputy Solano, a veteran of the department for 13 years, was immediately transferred to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition. The deputy had apparently gone for an oil change at a nearby Jiffy Lube and then went to the restaurant while waiting for the car service. Sheriff Alex Villanueva told the media that Deputy Solano was a “kind-hearted, generous person.” Solano was in the Jack in the Box to get food while the oil was being changed on his mother’s car. Prior to Nelson’s arrest, Sheriff Villanueva tweeted, “Our #LASD family continues to persevere in the wake of the senseless shooting of our deputy. Our hearts & minds are solemnly united w/those who hold him, dear. Whoever carried out this cowardly attack; we won’t rest until we find you & ensure justice is brought swiftly upon you.”
— Felix egbo (@xdom718) June 12, 2019
The Los Angeles Times reports that Deputy Solano joined the sheriff’s department first in 1999 before leaving for the Alhambra Fire Department in 2000. He would return to the sheriff’s department in 2006 and have been working in the custody division.