Flags in Carson Country were flying at half-staff Wednesday afternoon as area law enforcement officers received word of the death of a Reno police officer.
Officer John Bohach was killed at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Larry Peck of Reno was arrested for the shooting after a lengthy standoff.
Bohach was setting up a perimeter around the home in which the gunman had barricaded himself when he was shot once in the chest with a high-powered rifle. He was pronounced dead at Washoe Medical Center.
"This is like the death of a relative," said Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Troy Lindley.
"It's hard for me not to think of his family or his partners that were there on the scene when this happened. When things like this happen, it's just devastating."
Carson City Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Scott Burau said officers were crowding around a television in the detective division watching the standoff unfold.
"They stood there, huddled around, just watching the moment," Burau said.
"It's one more sad day for law enforcement, and our hearts go out to the officer's family. Today this officer paid the ultimate price for protecting and serving his community."
Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini said his deputies had begun to place black bands on their badges as soon as they heard the news.
For Pierini, it reminded him of the loss of Douglas County Deputy Ed Callahan on May 24, 1998. Callahan drowned after the Boat Patrol dingy he was on capsized.
"It's just a sickening, terrible feeling," he said. "When a department loses an officer, that void is never filled.
"I always think of the survivors that are left behind, and it doesn't matter if it's in Sparks or Washoe or Carson, those of us in this profession know it's now time to help those survivors."
What motivated the gunman to open fire it not clear, but whatever the reason police officers and family members will always wonder "why," Lindley said.
"What's so sad is that someone would reduce the value of human life and we may never know why," he added.
"There aren't too many words that can clarify to a grieving family why this happened. All they know is they're heartbroken," Burau said.
On Wednesday, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., watched the standoff unfold from the Channel 8 control room. He had just finished a television interview with anchor Sam Shad.
"I'm here with a lot of sadness in my heart," Reid said during opening remarks at a conference later in the day. "We had a tragedy here today in Reno.
Previous to his lengthy political career, the Searchlight native served as a police officer in Washington, D.C.
"I do know that every day a police officer goes to work they are vulnerable to violent types of people - people who are essentially evil," he said.