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Local says standoff murder suspect needed job, she offered him work

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Local says standoff murder suspect needed job, she offered him work

By Jennifer Kastner. CREATED Dec 10, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- On Tuesday night, Action News interviewed the renter of the eastside apartment where a murder suspect holed himself up during a standoff that started Monday afternoon.

She refrained from using her name, but the renter said she met the accused killer about a week ago at a nearby Walmart. He needed work, she told Action News, so she invited him into her apartment at the Camden Pointe off Tropicana Avenue to repaint a wall. She said she had no idea he was wanted for murdering an ex-girlfriend near Sacramento back in mid-November.

"He looked like he needed help. He didn't have [anywhere] to go," said the renter's friend. "He said his name was Mike Alexander and he was from Oakland."

On Monday, officials were tipped off that murder suspect William Gardner III was in the valley. Gardner barricaded himself inside the apartment and a standoff ensued, carrying over into early Tuesday morning. Gardner eventually surrendered.

Authorities said he shot and killed Leslie Pinkston in Winters, California, near Sacramento.

Winters Police Chief told reporters on Monday, "I personally notified [Leslie's] mother last night after we had the news of the capture to inform her that he was in custody and she stated to me she was able to sleep now, being at ease."

Another one of the apartment renter's friends was at the eastside apartment when police surrounded it. He told Action News he met Gardner for the first time on Monday, and he bolted outside of the home as soon as Gardner turned his head away. "I creeped towards the door and I unlocked it. I [rushed out] of there. [Police] thought I was [Gardner] at first," he says. The friend came out with his hands up. He was detained, but released soon thereafter.

The renter of the apartment was not home when the standoff happened. She said Gardner never seemed like a threat, "I was surprised. He just didn't strike me as that type of person."

Authorities are now working to get Gardner back to California.

24-year-old Brittany Ulmer was also arrested after the standoff ended. She was reportedly inside the apartment with her baby, but refused to exit. She is being charged with obstructing a public officer.

Jennifer Kastner

Jennifer Kastner

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Jennifer Kastner is a general assignment reporter for Action News.