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Sheriff Gillespie describes store victim as hero for confronting suspect

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Sheriff Gillespie describes store victim as hero for confronting suspect

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Jun 9, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The family of the man killed inside the Walmart on Sunday is devastated by the loss of their loved one.

On Monday, Las Vegas police called Joseph R. Wilcox, 31, a hero for confronting one of the shooters inside the store.

Full details of Monday's press conference

Police said Wilcox was carrying a concealed weapon inside the store when he confronted Jerad Miller. However, officers said Wilcox likely had no idea there was a second suspect. Officers said he was gunned down by Amanda Miller.

"Everyone keeps telling me she apparently came up from behind him and shot him at close range and it just angers me so much to even imagine it," said CJ Foster, Wilcox's sister.

The killers arrived at the Walmart not long after ambushing two Metro police officers at a nearby pizzeria.

Family members said Wilcox was a Las Vegas native and quiet guy who liked computers and wanted to become a police officer.

"Clean cut kid that did no wrong," said mother Debra Wilcox. "He took care of his grandparents. he went fourwheeling. He loved movies."

Debra Wilcox said her son was returning a computer modem at the Walmart when gunfire began.

"I definitely think he was trying to protect people," said Jeremy Tanner, a friend who was inside the store with Wilcox at the time of the shooting.

Tanner said he considered trying to stop his friend.

"I was just like, this is just something he feels he needs to do to protect people," said Tanner.

Debra Wilcox said she knew something was wrong when Tanner was able to escape the store but she didn't hear from her son. But the family is also conflicted over Wilcox's response.

"I'm proud of him, I really am," said Foster. "I just wish he hadn't of done it."

The family has not yet planned the funeral but friends are trying to raise money to help with the costs. Tanner said donations can be made to the Joseph R. Wilcox Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo Bank beginning Tuesday, June 10. The account number is: 8485852688.

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Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

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Michael Lopardi is the featured reporter of the You Ask. We Investigate. franchise at Action News.