The killings took place at night near a dusty, desolate Las Vegas corridor.
On Jan. 3, a homeless man curled up in a blanket to protect himself from the frigid 44-degree temperature, was struck several times in the head as he slept near an intersection not far from the roar of the Spaghetti Bowl, a name locals use to describe a freeway interchange on the city's north end.
The autopsy showed he was bludgeoned with a blunt object, perhaps a hammer.
A month later, a tragedy unfolded at the same intersection — this time on the opposite corner.
On Feb. 3, another homeless man, also nestled under a blanket to stave off the winter cold, was beaten to death as he slept in an open area near bushes.
Again, it appeared the weapon was a hammer.
The similarities between the cases prompted police to set a trap: a mannequin, wrapped in blankets like a sleeping homeless man with his head covered, was placed where the first man was killed.
The scene that quickly ensued — and captured on police surveillance video — led to the arrest of 30-year-old Shane Schindler, who on Tuesday was charged with attempted murder.
At around 3 a.m. on Feb. 22, Schindler, wearing a dark hoodie, walked to the intersection carrying a Little Caesars plastic bag, according to a police report. He spotted the mannequin covered heavily in blankets. He then hovered in the area for several minutes, and appeared to be looking around for any vehicle or pedestrian traffic.
Police say the video captured the following: Schindler approached the mannequin, pulled his hood up over his head to conceal his face and slowly pulled out of the bag a 4-pound engineer's hammer. Using both hands, he raised the hammer and swung it down on the mannequin's head several times.
Police, who were monitoring the surveillance footage, quickly flooded the scene and arrested Schindler.
Shane Schindler was later sentenced to 8 years in prison.
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