Leeds shooting: Family of deceased man issues statement

Responders attend to a fatal shooting in Leeds, Utah, July 17, 2014 | Photo by T.S. Romney, St. George News
LEEDS – The family of Stephen Aizenberg, a man killed in a shooting in Leeds Thursday night, released the following statement Saturday regarding the incident and the passing of Aizenberg:

Our family is shocked and shattered by the loss of our beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. Stephen Aizenberg was a respected businessman whose family and community always came first. He lived a life committed to improving the lives of others, helping those in need and never wished harm on any soul. A cherished father of three sons and one daughter, Stephen doted on his three young grandchildren and eagerly anticipated the arrival of two new twin grandchildren in a few short months.

He will forever be etched in our hearts as a generous, loving man who lived life to its fullest. Raised in Northern California, Stephen also has left an indelible legacy in the California and Nevada landscapes from his esteemed 35-plus year career as a real estate developer, general contractor, and real estate broker. He cared deeply about the cornerstones of developing thriving communities, including providing spaces for enrichment, individual development, tradition, and respect. He helped to improve the lives of countless youth, seniors and others by creating and donating funds and time to new facilities including two private schools, a community center, and a senior daycare facility. Stephen was proud to have built the Centennial Academy in northwest Las Vegas, which educated hundreds of students each year. He was honored to be one of the founding trustees of the School.

Our family may never have all of the answers about this senseless tragedy. But we know without a shadow of a doubt that Stephen dedicated himself for all of his 70 years to family, community philanthropy and faith. Our hearts are broken as we mourn his loss. We ask for respect and privacy during this very difficult and personal time.

Aizenberg was killed in a shooting Thursday night in the area of Silverado Court in Leeds. According to information from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Aizenberg, 70, a resident of Leeds, approached his neighbor’s house armed with a handgun and walked down the neighbor’s driveway with the weapon pointed at the home’s occupants as well as a man and several women who were visiting. When Aizenberg continued approaching with his weapon drawn and aimed, the man visiting Aizenberg’s neighbors, later identified as a retired law enforcement officer, shot Aizenberg. Aizenberg was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies were told the man and the other visitors did not know Aizenberg or why he was approaching them with a drawn weapon. The investigation is ongoing, and no arrests have been made in connection with the shooting.

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35 Comments

  • LOL'D July 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    THIS DOESN’T ANSWER THE QUESTION OF IF HE WAS SENILE OR NOT… SO WAS HE OR NO?!!

    • dunlap July 19, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      I don’t believe the family needs to answer that question. Not to you anyway.

  • LOL'D July 19, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    OH AND THIS STATEMENT SUCKS. IS IT AN OBIT. OR A STATEMENT??? YA THEY’RE SHOCKED AND SADDENED BUT WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?! ALMOST SOUNDS LIKE THEY’RE GLAD HE GOT KILLED… JUST SAYIN.

    • Brett July 19, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Why should there be outrage? He was the aggressor in the situation. If somebody comes at me with a gun on my property, they have no right to expect to survive.

    • dunlap July 19, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      I think the statements is very well written. I almost expected them to try to show outrage instead of being professional and thoughtful with it. I’m glad they wrote it the way they did.

    • Mike July 19, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      Whew…..must be you don’t understand the English language. All caps…you pissed? JUST SAYIN!

  • lp July 19, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Glad he got killed?? Have mercy on your soul.

  • tinmanfree July 20, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Whether this was a suicide at the hand of another (in this case by ex-cop) or some other mental illness, what the family needed to add was an apology to the other victims (including several women) who were muzzled by a gun, the neighbor for having his property violated, etc.

    • Michael July 20, 2014 at 8:30 am

      Is an apology needed? And from whom?

      There’s no security camera footage and there are no other witnesses to the shooting, so basically what we have is the testimony by one group of family members and friends that the event played out as it did.

      Was the gun in fact “aimed”? Was he in fact on the property? Was he known to the neighbors? Was the gun registered to A? He was supposedly approaching with gun drawn and “aimed”, but had not fired a single round upon an entire group of people, and yet was close enough for one of that group to draw, aim, call for him to lower his weapon, fire, hit and kill. Nor did he open fire when he saw someone else pulling a weapon.

      Was he senile? Well, he was living in the neighborhood, so he was certainly appeared able to manage his affairs to some degree. There have been no reports that he was on medication or drugs, no reports that he was sick, no reports that he was depressed. Nothing.

      As far as I’m concerned, the story is correct about one thing, and that’s that the story makes no sense whatsoever.

      • Mark Vinclio July 20, 2014 at 10:57 am

        wait for a shot to be fired.. are you kidding. Don’t point a gun at people. Guess you will say it was unloaded maybe it was on saftey..who cares people holding guns can fire quickly. but don’t play the game he was a victim he was not. mental illness. . then the family is at fault and should be responsible for not watching over him as if he was a young child needing taken care of. The man that had to defend his family and deal with his emotions of taking a life is the victim. I could only hope to be on a jury if he files suit for emotional destress because there is not a wrongful death suit in this case it was justifiable homicide PERIOD! I am sorry for his family for their loss.

        • Henry July 21, 2014 at 9:36 am

          According to comments by friends, Aizenberg was a “young 70” and very fit. As such, I suspect your “mental illness” assumption is just that, an assumption, based on a total lack of evidence.
          I think the key to the story is the “Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range” comment made on another story. I suspect that Steve heard or saw strangers in his next door neighbor’s driveway, Perhaps he thought his neighbors were away, or perhaps the strangers were loading something into a car.
          Either way, his suspicions were aroused, so he grabbed his gun, went to check it out, and was shot when the retired cop saw some guy approaching with a gun.
          The retired cop, however, isn’t without fault. There are no reports of arguments, shouts, or a confrontation, so I also suspect that the retired cop simply drew and shot him out of hand, with no attempt whatsoever made to defuse or clarify the situation.

      • Chris July 20, 2014 at 11:05 am

        “Was he in fact on the property?” All the evidence shows he was, and the body was found on the property. Evidence is scant at this point, but nothing contradicts the account of several witnesses. Entering the property of another, uninvited, with a loaded firearm is amazingly foolish. If Aizenberg believed a crime was in progress, he should have called 911.

  • Andy July 20, 2014 at 7:44 am

    It is a lovely statement. I understand the family’s confusion and sense of loss. Maybe no one will understand how this happened or his motivation. It was refreshing to see he was respected and cherished by the people who really knew him. To LOL’D: You have bigger problems than just not finding your shift button.

  • Dugley July 20, 2014 at 7:58 am

    I agree with Dunlap. The statement is well written, and seems to convey the family’s desire to find the answers to the events. The family doesn’t have to answer any questions, it wasn’t THEIR action. They lost a family member, and I’m sure they’re as perplexed about Mr. Aizenberb’s behavior as the rest of us. If it was indeed a health issue that precipitated his behavior, may never know the answer.

  • ladybugavenger July 20, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    If it had not been a retired cop, would the shooter have been arrested?

  • Bender July 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    When two concealed permit holders go up against each other the guy that lives gets to be the hero and the deceased assumes the role of bad guy. Hollywood teaches us this eternal truth.

  • bob July 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    the whole story just reeks of bull shiz from the info we have now

    • bob July 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      What we need to know is if the old fellow had a history of dementia and whether or not he was known to wander around with a loaded gun while being senile. If he was senile then he shouldn’t have had guns in the first place, and if he wasn’t, well then this is just sketchy and probably was a homicide.

      • Bender July 20, 2014 at 2:58 pm

        So you support gun control Bob? Taking guns away from the “senile”? Will Obama’s death panels decide who is senile? Bob I’m afraid yer a communist or a socialist. Can’t decide which.

  • Red Rocker July 21, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I sensed this would segue into a gun control froth the moment I read the news piece.
    -RR

    • Bender July 21, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Dude, you’re spooky prescient.

  • Agewood July 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    One thing for sure is this case should be OPENED wide to investigation, NOT closed immediately. Facts: Stephen Aizenberg, 70 is known by all in the local area as a very calm, rational person that has been successful in his business and lived very comfortably with at least 2 nice homes, one in Silver Reef, one in Palm Springs. He was apparently eating a salad and had ribs in the microwave getting for dinner and was at the back of his house. From his own survellience video, his crippled dog (that scarcely moves well) ran into the house. Steve went into the house, then walked calmly down his driveway barefooted and over to about 12 feet within the neighbor’s driveway investigate something. (Domestic dispute? Gun shot? Animal??) He had no previous known incidents with the neighbor. The neighbor’s son in law, an ex cop, (apparently armed while hanging out with the family in a very nice upscale residential neighborhood) shoots Steve from about 50 feet away. Given the curved driveway and bushes, this is out of site of the house, so the victim was not yet in site of the house and the shooter must have been well down the driveway. The shooter’s wife is attempting to resuscitate Steve when the first response teams arrive. Why would the wife attempt to resuscitate someone that was purported waving a gun at them and threatening them?
    These facts completely dismiss the quickly spread story of a “gun waiving crazy man” being dispatched by a heroic ex cop. Given these facts it is preposterous the case was immediately closed at the outset. You don’t just shoot a neighbor and call it a day. OPEN this case and investigate the facts.

    • TerriP July 21, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      Agewood, I just knew there had to be more to it. I hope the police don’t just sweep it under the rug and pay close attention to Steve’s surveillance video. It sickens me that someone as amazing as Steve had his life ended in such a senseless way.

    • THAT GUY July 21, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      Your objectiveness is lacking while your hate for guns shines in your comment. I read it is under investigation still, just where does it say case closed? I get the distinct impression you do not care for law enforcement active or retired and their abbility to investigate or slove crimes as well.

  • TerriP July 21, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I’ve known Steve for years. He was a client of an engineering company I worked for in Las Vegas and I worked very closely with him on many developments in Vegas. He was not senile and was not a violent person. He was extremely intelligent and very active. The “facts” of this shooting are very one-sided since Steve is not alive to speak for himself. I cannot believe that he would have taken a gun to his neighbors property for no reason. I hope that the investigation that is conducted is done so fairly and is not just given a cursory review and filed away because Steve isn’t around to defend himself. Just because someone is a retired law enforcement officer doesn’t mean what he did was right. They should have gone into the house & called 911. There were other options available.

  • bob July 21, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I would certainly hope the cops are still investigating…

    • Rick Bowler July 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      whats left to investigate. point a gun at people and approch them your getting shot…ex cop banker or garbage truck driver it really makes no difference.

    • Rick Bowler July 21, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Really then why didn’t steve call 911 if he thought they were breaking in…theroy busted…a guy having a gun pointed at him can’t push pause while he dials 911.

  • Agewood July 21, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Given some event transpiring (gun shot, domestic dispute, etc.) most people stick their heads in the sand. A rare few people with some guts check out what’s going on. I would say Steve had guts and was checking on something happening at the neighbor house. Given Steve’s well recognized solid character, obviously interrupted dinner, dog and dog running into the house, a domestic dispute or other event that caused him concern appears most probable and exactly what needs investigation. Why would an ex cop feel so threatened by a calm and rational person (gun or no gun) checking on a commotion of some kind that he would shoot to kill the investigator?

  • Jimbo July 22, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Victim was well within view of the home. If you looked at the pics the driveway doesn’t have much of a curve and a slight incline. Looks like you could stand at the road and very easily see the entire front of the home. 50 feet doesn’t seem that far when someone is pointing a pistol at you. What could the retired Leo do? Wait to get shot first? Bad deal all around. Retired leo probably has a concealed carry license and carries most places he is legally able. And they DID call 911.

  • jimbo July 22, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Retired Leo felt threatened because he had a firearm pointed at him. Thats my guess anyway.

  • mater July 22, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    you are all aware that all your accusations and suppositions are foolish don’t you?
    you were not there. i was not there. steve is gone. all we have is the people that were there. some of you will never be satisfied with what will be found and released to the public.
    lets be realistic for a moment i know that will be hard for some of you but lets try.
    most of you have never looked down the barrel of a gun so you have absolutely no idea how the people that were approached feeling. no way. i am truly grateful that i have never been put in that situation but i must say that if i ever am i will not hesitate to protect my loved ones!
    unlike what some of you believe there is no time for an interview or a call to family and friends when it happens it is a basic survival instinct that we all have its called fight or flight. some people will turn and run some will stand and face the threat its called being a good citizen its accepting your responsibility to others.

  • Angel C July 31, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    He was far from senile, far from senior, if you met him, knew him, you would give him an easy 20 years younger, I knew him well. he was everything you can only hope to be…none better

  • Angel C July 31, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    If you were not known to Steve, and the owner of the home asked you to watch it, you are in the hospital, people he didn’t know, have never been there before, then he would ask you in the driveway while he was protecting his neighbor what’s up….sad you shot him…called 911….after, then tried to suggest another way…it didn’t happen like that we all know

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