Utah Suspect Arrested for LA County Deputy Shooting

 In Domestic

A Utah suspect, Rhett Nelson, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the Monday night shooting of a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy. He may also be involved in another murder in Los Angeles hours earlier (LA Times).

Update: Blue Lives Matter reports that Deputy Solano succumbed to his wound on Wednesday.

The officer shot has been identified as Deputy Joseph Gilbert Solano, a 13 year veteran of the department. He had taken his mother’s vehicle to a nearby Jiffy Lube for an oil change, then went into a nearby Jack in the Box to get something to eat.

Officer Solano is still on life support in grave condition as of Tuesday afternoon.

Rhett McKenzie Nelson, from St George, Utah, 30, was arrested after he called his father from a church in Long Beach and mentioned committing a murder. The father called the Long Beach police. The police spotted the white Kia at around 10:40 a.m., driving away from the church, stopped the vehicle and detained the driver. Police executed a search warrant, found the clothes that were in the surveillance video in the back seat of his vehicle, along with a revolver.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore stated that Nelson may also be linked to a murder that took place between 5 and 6 pm in the city. He was linked to it by the physical description, clothing he was wearing, and vehicle.

Nelson’s sister posted this notice on Facebook previously:

**MISSING PERSON** My brother Rhett Nelson has been missing since Sunday. He is probably driving a white 2012 Kia Sorento, just purchased with no plates yet. He left abruptly, without any of his clothes, computer or phone charger, and his phone has been off/dead since he left. This is very out of character.

He is normally friendly, but we aren’t sure of his mental state and I don’t think approaching him directly would be a good idea. Please contact me, another of my family, or St George, Utah police if you see him. (I’ll add their number as soon as I get it).

I love my brother and I just hope we can all rest easy soon knowing that he’s safe. Please feel free to share.


In less than a 24 hour period, a man from Utah murders two people, possibly at random, in different cities: Los Angeles and Alhambra.

Deputy Solano was in plain clothes, had no weapon or badge to signify that he was a police officer. It’s one of the biggest questions LASD hopes to answer: why was he targeted?

Original story: LA County Deputy Shot in the Head at Alhambra Jack in the Box

Featured photo: composite of surveillance video of Utah suspect Rhett Nelson, and department photo of Deputy Joseph Solano.

Showing 4 comments
  • Laura

    I thought Utah was Moron state what are they teaching these kids

    • Darrell Farley

      Laura, just because he’s from Utah doesn’t mean he is LDS. If he is, what makes him any different from Catholics, Jews, Baptist, or any other belief. Pull your head out of your rear!!! He is no different than anybody else. People of all faiths can have a psychological problem. Try putting you prejudice aside. Act like an adult!

      • BarryOddessy


  • Debbie Nelson

    Glad they caught him before he harmed anyone else. He needs to pay for what he did.
    Yes he may need help but at least he is off the streets.
    Prayers from a LEO family.

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