Suspect killed in Monahans officer-involved shooting identified

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MONAHANS -- A man has been killed by law enforcement agents after terrorizing a Monahans neighborhood with gunfire.

Texas Rangers have identified the shooter as 30-year-old Rodney Lassister, who investigators say was shooting a gun off between houses in a Monahans neighborhood before he was killed trying to shoot law enforcement officers responding to the scene.

Peggy Nunn was a close friend of Lassister. She said she saw her friend just minutes before he was killed, but can’t explain what lead to the shooting.

“I have no idea what could have started it,” Nunn said. “I have no idea. All I know is he took off running down the alley.”

Texas Rangers investigating the shooting say police got calls Saturday morning saying a man was running around the neighborhood firing a gun, but they have no idea what he was shooting at or why.

When Lassister ran behind a building on North Bruce Avenue, he was confronted by police officers and sheriff’s deputies.

That was when investigators say he fired again, this time at the first responders.

“The gunman began shooting at the police vehicles and then thereafter got into an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement,” Texas Department of Public Safety Sergeant Oscar Villareal said.

“It was gunfire,” Nunn said. “It was like pow pow pow and then tat tat tat tat tat.”

Lassister was killed in the shootout leaving Nunn wondering what she could done to save her friend who she said looked disturbed when she saw him before the shooting.

“He went that way down the alley,” Nunn said. “Just walking. He was just furious, like I don’t know he was upset about something.”

She said Lassister was mental disabled and had a history of aimlessly shooting guns in the neighborhood for fun.

Nunn said he had kept a pistol close by for weeks, but she didn’t think it was loaded.

“But he’s been walking the last two and a half weeks with this pistol beside him and I just thought ‘ah, he doesn’t have any bullets for that,’” she said.

But she was wrong.

Now Nunn blames herself for not calling the police before shots were fired and for failing to help Lassiter get treatment before it was too late.

“I’m just so sorry,” she said. “I’m so sorry all this happened to him because I think if they got him help this wouldn’t have happened.”

Texas Rangers will continue investigating to figure out why Lassister shot up his neighborhood.