HENDERSON, Nev. – Police who responded to a triple shooting on Tuesday in Nevada found themselves in a tense standoff with the suspect, who was killed after putting his gun to the head of a 12-year-old boy.
Suspect Jason Neo Bourne, 38, was shot by officers, according to Henderson police officials.
“Officers extricated the juvenile from the vehicle and immediately began life-saving measures, however, he succumbed to his injuries at the scene along with the suspect,” police officials said in a statement.
Also found dead at the scene were two women, ages 39 and 33. A 16-year-old girl was injured. All had been shot, authorities said.
Investigators had not publicly identified the victims as of Wednesday night, but administrators at Saint John the Baptist Middle School in Draper, Utah, had identified two of the victims as substitute teacher Diana Hawatmeh, of Sandy, and her son, Joseph “Jojo” Hawatmeh, who was a seventh grader at the school.
Hawatmeh’s daughter, Yasmeen Hawatmeh, is the girl injured in the shooting, the school’s Facebook post said. Her husband and the couple’s eldest son were not home when the shooting took place.
“The Hawatmehs, a highly involved family at the Skaggs Catholic Center, are members of Saint John the Baptist Parish. Diana was a substitute teacher in our elementary and middle school and taught Zumba dance to members of our faculty,” the statement said. “May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace.”
The second woman killed in the shooting has not been named. The killings have made international headlines because the Hawatmehs are of Jordanian descent.
According to Henderson police officials, officers and fire medics were called around 11 a.m. Tuesday to the Douglas at Stonelake Apartments after a resident reported hearing gunshots and seeing someone lying in the doorway of a nearby apartment. When they arrived, they found the women dead and Yasmeen Hawatmeh injured.
They found Bourne barricaded in a vehicle nearby and holding Joseph Hawatmeh hostage.
As the officers tried to de-escalate the situation, Bourne held a handgun to the boy’s head, authorities said.
“Preliminary investigation revealed the suspect fired multiple rounds inside the vehicle,” the police statement said.
A neighbor caught Bourne’s shootout with police on cellphone video from inside an apartment.
The officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Authorities said the preliminary investigation suggests Bourne lived in the apartment above the one where the victims lived.
No motive had been made clear.
The Skaggs Catholic Center community held a vigil Wednesday night for the Hawatmeh family, praying a rosary together. The event was streamed on Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church’s YouTube channel for those who declined to attend in person.
Galey Colosimo, principal of Juan Diego Catholic High School, where Yasmeen Hawatmeh is a junior, told the Deseret News that he was stunned to learn of the tragedy.
“I had to read the story a couple of times,” Colosimo said. “It was just like a punch in the gut. It was just so devastating.”
Colosimo and others who knew Diana Hawatmeh described her as a family-oriented woman of deep faith.
“There was a presence about her, and she had a big, beautiful smile,” Felicia Frakes, a secretary at the middle school, told the newspaper. “She was so warm and giving, and just the kindest person.
“She would volunteer in our classes. She was just a huge part of our community. She was so giving any time we needed anything. She would head service projects. She was amazing.”
Jojo Hawatmeh was an outgoing boy who loved theater, Frakes said. Yasmeen sings in the church choir and plays volleyball at the high school.
In photos on social media, the teen is also seen participating with her mother in Zumba classes. A fitness buff, Diana Hawatmeh was the founder of Nafas Activewear.
Friends mourned the slain mother on Facebook.
“Dance in heaven, Diana Hawatmeh,” Marta Lopez Iniguez wrote. “I miss you already. Sending love and peace to your beautiful family.”
Teddy Sims wrote that Hawatmeh always brightened his day. In Zumba classes, she knew how to get her students pumped for their workout, he said.
“She was a friend who always gave me a hug because she knew I needed it,” Sims wrote. “She left this world way too early. I will miss you so much my friend.”