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St. George police give more information about involvement with California shooting suspect

rhett nelson new mug courtesy la count sheriffs.PNG
St. George police shared more information Wednesday about a man reported missing in May, who is now the suspect in a California crime spree. (Photo courtesy Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

St. George police speaking about its involvement with Rhett Nelson, giving us more information about what his family said about him going missing.

“He communicated with them that he was going, he was leaving to make it on his own or die,” said Captain Mike Giles with St. George Police.

Giles said that's what Rhett Nelson told his family when he left his St. George home at the end of May.

CBS reports Nelson is now the suspect in a crime spree in California, accused of shooting and critically wounding an off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy.

He’s also may be connected to another shooting that took place in the L.A. area, according to CBS.

Nelson said a day after the Nelson left his St. George home in May, the family asked police for him to be listed as a missing person.

“The family did indicate that they weren’t concerned about him being a threat to himself or other people,” Giles said.

The family told police they did know nelson left with a gun.

“They believed that he had the firearm as a means of self-defense,” said Giles.

Just over a week later Giles said, Nelson called his family from California.

“During that discussion, the family talked about Rhett having some maybe some mental health challenges or issues,” Giles said.

Giles said the family again telling police they didn't believe he was going to hurt himself or anybody else.

“The family did indicate through our contacts with them that he doesn’t have a violent history,” he said.

With this information, Giles said they felt he wasn't endangered and was no longer a missing person, which ended their involvement with the case.

“There was nothing we had to indicate that he was in crisis,” Giles said.

Capt. Smith said Nelson had some prior substance abuse charges with St. George Police. But nothing recent with their agency.

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