Posted on: June 16, 2022, 10:03h.
Last updated on: June 17, 2022, 03:01h.
A woman accused of wounding a security guard after a shoplifting at Las Vegas Strip’s Bonanza Gift Shop is now charged with attempted murder. The guard suffered a critical wound. The suspect also accidentally shot herself during a struggle on Tuesday.
The unnamed guard was listed in critical condition at University Medical Center early this week. The suspect was identified as Mercedes Cage, 35, of California, according to KLAS, a local TV station.
She remained in custody as of late Thursday at the Clark County Detention Center, according to online jail records. Bail was set at $200,000. She is likely to appear in local court on Monday.
A Metro police arrest report claims Cage initially took a sweater from inside the popular gift shop. She then left the store without paying for the garment, police said.
Struggle in Lot
A security guard followed her into the parking lot. He confronted her and tried to take away the sweater.
Suddenly, Cage allegedly pulled out a firearm tucked in her waistband, KLAS said. The report added that Cage fired as many as nine rounds at two security guards.
The gunfire led to one of the guards getting wounded in the back, police said. He fell to the pavement, police said. Other bullets struck the outside of the store and a car window, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Then, her gun malfunctioned, allowing another security guard to force her to the ground, police added.
During the struggle, Cage’s gun discharged, and she wounded herself in the left armpit, the Review-Journal said. She was later treated at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center for her wound, reports said.
Suspects Faces Decades in Prison
During the incident, a passerby driving on the street jumped out of his car and helped the guard apprehend Cage, KLAS said. The motorist was not named.
A second security guard got cuts on his head during the struggle. He was treated at the crime scene. The wounded guard received CPR administered by another guard while still at the scene. He was later rushed to the hospital.
Following the incident, Cage claimed to officers a man pepper-sprayed her after she was accused of shoplifting, KLAS said. He also stole “her stuff,” she said. Cage admitted to shooting him, initial police reports said. She asked to see a lawyer.
In addition to attempted murder, Cage is charged with battery with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon, discharging a gun into an occupied structure, and damaging a vehicle, the Review-Journal said.
If convicted, she could face decades in prison. She has yet to enter a plea in court.
Bonanza is described as the world’s largest gift shop. Founded in 1980, it has over 40,000 square feet of retail space. The gift shop was featured in a movie called The Trust. The 2016 film starred Nicolas Cage. He is not believed to be related to the suspect.
The Strip has recently been the scene of numerous shootings and other violent crimes. Some ended in death.