First Responders

Las Vegas Detectives: Vacationing Officer Stabbed to Death for Petting Dog

March 31, 2022Joshua Skovlund
las vegas

Off-duty Edmonds Police Officer Tyler Steffins, 33, was pronounced dead in Las Vegas shortly after midnight Sunday, March 27, 2022. Nevada authorities said he’d been stabbed hours earlier on the Las Vegas Strip. Edmonds Police Department photo.

Detectives in Nevada continue to probe the slaying of an off-duty police officer from Washington who was apparently stabbed Saturday, March 26, on the Las Vegas Strip for the way he petted a dog.

Freddy “Lucky” Allen remains in the Clark County Detention Center without bail after authorities booked the 58-year-old man for murdering Edmonds Police Officer Tyler Michael Steffins. He’s slated to make an initial appearance before a Las Vegas magistrate on Monday, April 4.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office told Coffee or Die Magazine Steffins died from a single stab wound to the chest, and his death was classified as a homicide. He was 33 and left behind a wife and two young children.

In a prepared statement released in the wake of the officer’s death, Edmonds Police leaders noted that Steffins graduated at the top of his academy class. He’d served in the Marine Corps from 2007 to 2011, including in Afghanistan, and left the service as a corporal, according to the Seattle-area department.

During a Monday press conference in Edmonds, acting Assistant Police Chief Sgt. Josh McClure told reporters he’d been on the team that hired Steffins in 2018. He lauded Steffins as a “very chill” and quiet officer who breezed through field training “without a hiccup” and became “a consummate professional.”

Freddy “Lucky” Allen remains in Nevada’s Clark County Detention Center without bail after authorities booked the 58-year-old man for murdering Edmonds Police officer Tyler Steffins. Composite by Coffee or Die Magazine.

An arrest report provided to Coffee or Die by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department placed Steffins and Allen at 9:39 p.m. Saturday above Las Vegas Boulevard on the pedestrian bridge connecting the New York-New York Hotel and Casino to the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.

A crowd alerted two Las Vegas police officers walking a foot patrol to a commotion atop the span. As they were moving to the scene, the officers learned a man had been stabbed.

When they reached the bridge, they saw a white man wearing a green shirt and black shorts rush past them toward New York-New York, according to the report. One of the officers noticed that the running man, later identified as Allen, allegedly carried a blade in his right hand.

The report states that Allen tossed a 6-inch hunting knife into the Statue of Liberty fountain at the hotel but then surrendered to the officers. The cops estimated the entire chase lasted about a minute.

Paramedics rushed Steffins to the University Medical Center’s Trauma and Burn Center, but he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight Sunday.

A witness, Dean Cattorini, told detectives he’d met Steffins Friday, the day before the stabbing. Cattorini, 54, said he was standing on a pedestrian bridge near the Excalibur Hotel and Casino with his dogs when Steffins approached. He said the off-duty officer “aggressively” grabbed the face of one of his dogs, and it upset Cattorini, according to the arrest report.

Cattorini said he was with Allen atop the pedestrian bridge between New York-New York and the MGM Grand Hotel on Saturday when Steffins approached again to pet his dogs. Cattorini told detectives he asked Steffins to not get rough with them, but the officer again began to pet them “aggressively,” and Cattorini asked Steffins to stop.

Cattorini argued with Steffins, who told him to “Get a job,” Cattorini said. That’s when the 5-foot, 6-inch Allen approached Steffins and stood next to him, his hands behind his back, while the argument continued, according to Cattorini.

At first, Cattorini thought Allen had pushed Steffins in the chest and had run away, but then the off-duty cop said, “I think he just stabbed me.” Steffins took off his shirt and, a few seconds later, collapsed on the ground, Cattorini said.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police keeps a constant foot patrol on the famous Strip. They also have a kiosk station at Resorts World Las Vegas to better interact with the public. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department photo.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Fusion Watch Center surveillance cameras captured the tragic moment. According to the arrest report, the footage showed Allen gradually sidling up to Steffins before facing the off-duty cop. Allen then plunged the knife into the left side of Steffins’ chest.

The unarmed Steffins tried to push back as the blade entered his body. The footage showed him taking off his shirt and standing for a few seconds while an unnamed citizen rushed over to apply pressure to the chest wound.

Then, Steffins fell over, according to the report.

Las Vegas officials said they didn’t know where Allen had been living in Nevada before the stabbing, but he was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He declined to be interviewed by detectives.

Palm South Jones Mortuary in Las Vegas is handling the initial funeral arrangements for Steffins.

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Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion.

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