Halloween Murder of Trick-or-Treater Still Unsolved 17 Years Later

Halloween Murder of Trick-or-Treater Still Unsolved 17 Years Later

When Halloween rolls around each year, what comes to mind is 7-year-old trick-or-treater Tony Bagley. His face and story, a particularly sad and unsolved shooting that happened Halloween night of 1994, are tough to forget.

That’s when Tony, excited and dressed in a skeleton costume as he went door to door trick-or-treating, walked ahead of his sister, aunt and mother when he approached a street corner toward the next house.

At the same time, at 6:15 p.m., a man wearing a hooded sweatsuit ran into the street and opened fire on the Bagley family. Witnesses told investigators that the gunman then jumped into a waiting car and left the area, with the car headlights off.

Tony, a second-grader at Fitzgerald Elementary School, was shot in the head. His 10-year-old sister Shanell Bagley, his mother LaShelle Cooper and an aunt who asked to remain unnamed were also sprayed with the gunfire. Shanell required surgery to remove part of her liver, while the aunt, who was shot in the leg, and mother, who was struck in the chest, were treated and released. Tony was placed on life support and later died.

At face value, the shootings appeared premeditated, targeting the Bagleys. Northtown, as the city is nicknamed, is known as being gang-infested, although police have stopped short of connecting the crimes to gangs.

The only description of the shooter was that he was a 5-foot-8-inch African-American man who was wearing a dark-colored jogging suit. The killer vanished into the night, leaving a cold trail behind him.

Theories varied, with the most prominent being that another family member, not with the Bagleys that night, had been the intended target. That theory, however, never panned out for investigators. Then-Lt. Mike Blackwell with the North Las Vegas Police Department said instead that the shooting may have been retaliation for a drug deal gone bad.

The case was so frustrating for police and the family, because there were no real leads, that police went so far as to call on a psychic for help. Tony’s mother flew to Los Angeles with a detective to talk to the psychic, said the boy’s grandmother, Carolyn Landers.

“The psychic told them where the gun was, in an abandoned building,” Carolyn said. “It seemed good at first. But when police went to the building, there was no gun.”

The Bagley family found new hope when Tony’s story was broadcast four months later on “America’s Most Wanted.” But Ivey Van Allen, a publicist for the program, said afterward: “We didn’t get any calls.”

On the first anniversary of Tony’s death, the late Bob Stupak, a gambling mogul, offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Tony’s killer. Again, no leads came from it.

In an odd twist, 3-1/2 years after Tony was shot, his father, Anthony Bagley, in April 1998 was charged and convicted of an unrelated murder, also committed on a street. Today, Anthony Bagley sits in a Nevada State Prison serving out two consecutive life terms. Anthony has never talked to police about whether he knew who shot his son.

Over the years, I’ve written about Tony’s murder several times, hoping to keep the case in the public’s eye. Seventeen years later, according to authorities, the 1994 Halloween murder of young Tony Bagley remains unsolved, and there are no new leads