An off-duty Washington state police officer was stabbed to death in Las Vegas over the weekend following an argument with a suspect who he argued with the night before over a dog, authorities said.
Edmonds Officer Tyler Steffins was on a bridge between two Las Vegas Strip hotels when he was stabbed by 58-year-old Freddy Allen on Saturday night, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said. Investigators said the pair had gotten into a verbal argument over an unspecified interaction with a dog the night before.
The night of the stabbing, they got into another argument, police said.
"As words were being exchanged, Allen stabbed the victim one time and attempted to flee the area before being apprehended by patrol officers," Las Vegas police said.
Responding officers saw a knife in Allen's hand as he ran down a flight of stairs before he was taken into custody. Steffins was taken to a hospital where he later died, police said.
The Edmonds Police Department said Steffins had been with the force since 2018 and was a Marine Corps veteran. He graduated from the police academy in 2019 and was at the top of his class. He subsequently worked as a patrolman on day and night shifts, the department said.
"This is a tragic loss for our agency when our staff and the entire region is already in a state of mourning for other fallen officers. While we grieve with heavy hearts, our peer support program members are actively engaging with our staff," Edmonds Police Chief Michelle Bennett said in a statement.
"Tyler was a valued member of our police family whose infectious smile and contagious laugh endeared him to his peers," she added. "We will miss him terribly but cherish the times we had with him. We remain committed to providing quality service to our community even during the most trying of times."
Steffins is survived by his wife and two young children. He was the second officer in the Washington region to be killed over the weekend.
On March 25, Dan Rocha, 41, an officer with the Everett Police Department, just 18 miles north of Edmonds, was killed in the line of duty. The suspect in the alleged killing is being held on $5 million bail.