Man accused of killing Reno officer hated cops, government
RENO, Nev. (AP) – The man accused of gunning down a Reno police officer hated cops and the government and was ”prepared to go to war” with an arsenal of weapons he kept at his home, police said Thursday.
A day after veteran Office John Bohach was shot and killed, a somber Reno Police Chief Jerry Hoover praised the heroics of officers who dodged gunfire to reach their fallen comrade. The chief also cited the professionalism of dozens more who captured the suspect, Larry Peck, alive.
”There was no doubt in my mind my officers were going to do the right thing,” Hoover said at a news conference. ”We’re not murderers like he is.
”They are professionals and I am extremely proud of them.”
Peck has a lengthy criminal history, mainly for drugs and other nonviolent offenses, dating back 17 years. In 1984, he registered in Washoe County as an ex-felon with a drug possession conviction, authorities said.
Family members described Peck as a militia-type survivalist, investigators said.
Deputy Chief Jim Weston said investigators found a cache of weapons in Peck’s home, including a semiautomatic assault rifle, two bolt-action rifles, a shotgun and handguns and tear gas masks. Video surveillance cameras were mounted to the outside of house.
”He hated cops. He hated the government,” Weston said. ”He was prepared to go to war.
”He was set up and equipped to have a long battle with whoever was going to go in and get him,” he said. ”He was deathly afraid someone was going to take his guns away.”
Bohach, 35, was among several officers who responded Wednesday after Peck sped away from a traffic stop and fled to his small home east of downtown.
As officers were surrounding the home, Peck allegedly fired two shots from a shotgun.
Bohach had taken cover behind a large delivery van parked nearby.
About 10 minutes later, a third shot, this one from a high-powered rifle, was fired.
”He was just taking little peeks over the hood,” Weston said of Bohach. But the bullet from a 30.06-caliber rifle ripped through the hood and dash of the van, striking the officer in the chest.
Other officers who had converged on the scene unleashed a barrage of gunfire to distract the suspect while Detectives David Jenkins and Ron Chalmers ran to Bohach and pulled him from the line of fire.
”They risked their lives and ran across an open area to get to John after he had been shot,” Hoover said. ”They totally disregarded their own safety.”
The fusillade left more than 100 bullet holes in the home, pelted parked vehicles and knocked limbs from trees, Weston said.
Peck was unharmed.
Bohach, a husband and father of two young daughters, was rushed to Washoe Medical Center a few blocks away, where he died. Funeral arrangements were pending.
The neighborhood and a school were evacuated as officers and SWAT teams from Reno, Sparks, Washoe County and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms surrounded the small home.
The 4Y-hour standoff ended when SWAT teams stormed the home after pummeling it with tear gas and smoke bombs. Peck was submissive after his arrest, Hoover said.
Peck was being held at the Washoe County Jail for investigation of murder and resisting arrest. Formal charges were pending, authorities said.
Flags throughout Washoe County were lowered to half-staff and officers wore black bands across their badges in tribute to Bohach, a 13-year veteran who recently returned to the patrol division after working with the department’s child sex crimes unit.
”This is a very tough time for all of us, our families and the community of Reno,” said Hoover, his eyes misty with tears. ”Yesterday changed all of our lives.”