Utah Man Under Arrest In Connection With Los Angeles County Deputy Shooting

Jun 12, 2019, 5:48 AM

LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Police said a man from St. George was arrested Tuesday in connection with the shooting of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy and may be the suspect in another shooting that left a man dead.

Thirty-year-old Rhett Nelson was apprehended after officers executed a tactical stop in Long Beach, according to investigators.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Capt. Kent Wegener said Nelson, who was reported missing in Utah roughly two weeks ago, had entered a church in Long Beach at around 10 a.m. and called his father.

“During that call, he referred to committing murder in Southern California, obviously concerning his father,” Wegener said during a news conference. “The father called Long Beach Police Department to report what his son had told him.”

Wegener said police did a reverse directory search of the phone number provided by the dad, and Long Beach officers spotted Nelson’s Kia Sorrento driving from the church and followed it, ultimately conducting a felony stop in a neighborhood to take Nelson into custody.

“The suspect’s appearance and the video both matched the video of the assault on our deputy,” Wegener said.

Detectives said Nelson entered a Jack in the Box restaurant in Alhambra Monday evening and shot off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Solano in the head.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Solano, 50, had been getting his mother’s car serviced next door and had stopped in at the restaurant prior to being shot.

“We’re praying for his recovery,” Villanueva said. “He definitely was a kind-hearted, generous person, always willing to help others before himself, had a bright smile, very positive individual. Everybody likes working with him, so we’re all rooting for him to make a recovery.”

Solano was still in ‘grave’ condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Nelson was also a suspect in a deadly shooting in the Newton area that involved a suspect with similar descriptions to Nelson and his car.

“According to other witnesses, an individual inside that vehicle had a brief exchange with our victim, gunfire erupted, and our victim sustained at least one gunshot wound and died at the scene,” Moore said.

Wegener said detectives believed Nelson had been in the area since early June.

Nelson was reported missing in Utah in late May.

A search of Utah court records showed Nelson pleaded guilty in 2014 for driving with a measurable controlled substance and had also had other prior drug-related charges that had been dismissed.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Zachary Crane and Gabriella Arnold, two students who had their tests destroyed....
Debbie Worthen

High school students retake AP tests after school mix up destroyed them

Two dozen Green Canyon High School students in North Logan won’t get credit for AP tests they took last May as the tests were mistakenly destroyed in transit.
1 day ago
Photo illustration (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)...
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Your credit card can up your interest rate without telling you

If your credit card company raises your interest rate even just a little bit, it could have a significant impact on how long it takes you to get out of debt. A relatively new law means your credit card company can do just that and they do not even have to give you the heads up.
1 day ago
Police closing the road of Mountain View Corridor and 9000 South after an accident. (UDOT)...
Michael Houck

Three vehicle crash closes Mountain View Corridor, one passenger ejected

Police closed a portion of Mountain View Corridor after a three-vehicle crash Tuesday night.
1 day ago
Kevin Linford (Facebook)...
Michael Houck & Andrew Adams

Additional charges filed for Utah business owner accused of sexually assaulting two women

The Utah business owner arrested for assaulting two women at a party is facing additional sexual assault charges.
1 day ago
The sewer line rapid assessment tool or SL-RAT in use in a Salt Lake City street,...
Shelby Lofton

Singing sewer technology saves water for Utah

Singing technology is being used underground across Utah, saving the state a lot of water.
1 day ago
A holy bible and crucifix rest atop the United States Constitution and American flag, which is embl...
Canice Madsen & Boyd Matheson

‘A More Perfect Union’: Upholding the Constitution

Many people from across the political spectrum believe the Constitution is in crisis. In the upcoming KSL Special ‘A More Perfect Union', Boyd Matheson takes a closer look at how we as individuals can uphold the guiding principles of the Constitution.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Utah Man Under Arrest In Connection With Los Angeles County Deputy Shooting