Man Shot Self Before Vehicle Struck Apartment

By: Jennifer Rogers
By: Jennifer Rogers

Sparks police believe the man who drove his car into an apartment building last night did, in fact, commit suicide.

Forty-three-year-old Pryor Fitts shot himself in the head before smashing into the Park Vista Apartments off Sparks Blvd.
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The man who lives in the apartment which was hit is lucky to be alive after the car crashed only a few feet away from his bed. Police say the only thing that saved him was a tree outside.

The tree took the force of the crash, blocking it from a long time resident's home. He occupant of the apartment seemed visibily upset and didn't want to talk on camera.

But his upstairs neighbor Cary Mayfield gave us her eyewitness accounts.

"It felt like an earthquake. It wasn't a big loud bang or anything it felt like the whole complex moved . . . a couple pictures fell off the wall," Mayfield says.

According to the complex manager, 16 apartments were evacuated only minutes after the crash. Dozens of residents scrambled to safety.

"We could smell gas. My boyfriend ran down the stairs and came back and said you need to get Conner out, which is my son," Mayfield says.

Once the building was cleared out, Sierra Pacific Power company workers arrived.

"Once I got clearance from the fire chief and police department I went inside to make sure everything was secure and then I went under the risen and made sure everything was secure underground," says Alan Brown of SPPCO.

The SUV clipped one meter - but came close to many. "I thought it was pretty devastating only scraping the gas meter. It could have been worse," Brown says.

And thanks the tree it wasn't.

Last night the Red Cross took care of several families. But tonight almost everyone is back home - all except the residents in two apartments . . . they're staying elsewhere in the complex.


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