A homeless Army veteran likely saved his friend's life while losing his own in August 2019. Still, the case has not been solved as the killer is still on the loose.
At approximately 10:45 p.m. on Aug. 19, 2019, Steven Colburn and Lynn Prindle were sitting in a vehicle when a man holding a gun approached. The man demanded money at gunpoint.
Colburn then opened up the passenger side and began to run. The suspect then chased him and began shooting, striking him multiple times as Colburn collapsed in the parking of a business. Colburn's actions allowed Prindle to get away safely.
“When I looked over at him, he was like, boom, boom, boom, right on top of Steven,” Prindle told KLAS in 2021 upon returning to the scene of the crime for the first time.
The incident took place on North Thom Boulevard, just north of the North Las Vegas Airport, according to KLAS. Colburn, also a grandfather, slept on a concrete block near the of the street aside the Hideaway bar.
“He was harmless,” Prindle told KLAS. “He was just a homeless veteran. He was my buddy.”
According to KLAS, Prindle met Colburn several years before the incident when he was working as a caretaker in her neighborhood. Prindle would often meet up with Prindle, who had struggled and become homeless, to share a meal.
The final time would come as a man with a gun approached Prindle's vehicle.
“And we looked at each other because we basically don’t really have any money,” Prindle told KLAS. “You know, most of the time, Steven might have had $30, $40 in his top pocket, but he wasn’t about to give it up.”
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“Steven took off running. The guy looked, and he looked again, and he took the gun away from my head and took off running, jumped over a few of these bushes and was shooting, boom, boom,” Prindle told KLAS.
Metro Police Lt. Ray Spencer told KLAS that Colburn and the shooter had no link and that it was a random attack, making the case more difficult to work.
“He’s sitting there with a friend, who’s providing him food,” Spencer told KLAS. “I mean, this is a guy that has done nothing wrong.”
Las Vegas Metro police describe the suspect as a thin Black man between 25 and 35 years old. “We’re looking for such a generic description,” Spencer told KLAS. “I have a Black male in his late teens to early 20s. That’s a hard case to solve. No one can identify him from running down the street.”
Prindle told KLAS that the man ran toward a housing complex just north of the airport after shooting Colburn. She said she couldn't see the suspect's face, but she did recount on his demeanor.
“Very angry,” she said. “Very angry … He just wanted the money. That’s it," Prindle told KLAS.
Now, more than two years later, she still hasn't received closure after seeing her friend gunned down.
“I miss him. I really do,” Prindle told KLAS.
Las Vegas Metro police ask anyone with information on the case to contact them at 702-828-3521.
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