LAS VEGAS – A teenager wanted to provoke police to kill him in a suicide attempt when he abducted a child at knifepoint and ran through a security checkpoint at McCarran International Airport, authorities said.
Michael John Allgood, 19, was in critical condition at a Las Vegas hospital on Wednesday, a day after officers shot him in the arm and chest.
Allgood said something immediately after the shooting that "indicates that he made a deliberate attempt to provoke a confrontation with an officer to end his life," said police Capt. Jim Dillon, though he would not elaborate.
Allgood snatched a 3-year-old boy from a toy store near the security checkpoint. Holding the child, he bolted through an exit lane and was met by police inside the security area.
"At one point, Allgood loosened his grasp on the boy and took the knife away from the child's throat in order to lunge at one of the officers," Dillon said in a statement. One officer stunned Allgood with a Taser, and two officers each fired their handguns once.
The child was returned unharmed to his parents, who were only identified as being from southern Nevada. They said they did not know Allgood and watched as he grabbed their son, officials said.
Allgood faces charges of kidnapping with the use of a deadly weapon and felony child endangerment, Dillon said.
His parents, who were not identified, told police their son had a history of mental illness and had been acting strangely for about a year, Dillon said.
They said Allgood had been in Hawaii last week, though they did not know his whereabouts since then, Dillon said.
"We know he flew in (to Las Vegas) but we haven't established the particular flight," he said. "We know it was not in the last 24 hours."
Authorities said Allgood had attacked officers last December after his parents called them to their Wilsonville, Ore., home, saying their son had stopped taking his medication.
Police found Allgood naked and screaming at his mother and father. He attacked the two officers, who repeatedly used a stun gun to subdue him, Las Vegas police said.
On Tuesday, the airport checkpoint was shut down for about 10 minutes, but officials said flights were not delayed.
Administrators on Wednesday reviewed security at the nation's fifth busiest airport, but said the incident proved their system worked.
The officers who fired their handguns were placed on paid administrative leave pending a review of the shooting.