WASHINGTON – The son of a man killed when he opened fire at a Las Vegas courthouse has been taken into custody in Tennessee after threatening to blow up the federal building in Memphis, the U.S. Marshals Service said Thursday.
The chief spokesman for the law enforcement agency, Jeff Carter, said that deputy marshals took Richard Earl Nelson into custody Wednesday night in western Tennessee.
An arrest warrant had been issued for Nelson because of the alleged threats and a violation of his probation in another case, Carter said.
Carter said Nelson is the son of Johnny Lee Wicks, the 66-year-old ex-convict killed in a gun battle in the federal building in downtown Las Vegas earlier this month.
A courthouse security guard was mortally wounded by Wicks and a deputy U.S. marshal was wounded in the Las Vegas shootout.
Wicks, originally from Memphis, had served prison time for killing his brother in Tennessee and jail time for domestic violence in California.
On Jan. 4, Wicks returned to the courthouse where his lawsuit over his Social Security benefits had been dismissed in September. He had claimed racial discrimination after his Social Security benefits were cut.
Authorities said Wicks set fire to his Las Vegas apartment before walking three miles to the federal building, pulling a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun from beneath his black trench coat and opening fire.