Home > News > Crime News > REPORT: Montage shooter was hallucinating from Kratom derivative, Whip-Its, meth

REPORT: Montage shooter was hallucinating from Kratom derivative, Whip-Its, meth

By Bob Conrad
Published: Last Updated on
Law enforcement responds to the November 28, 2017 shooting in downtown Reno. Image: Ty O'Neil.
Law enforcement responds to the November 28, 2017 shooting in downtown Reno. Image: Ty O’Neil.

Lucas Stone, who shot nearly 50 rounds from the Montage in downtown Reno, was hallucinating. He claimed he was shooting at people who were throwing other people off the roof of a building.

The sequence of events was released in a lengthy report (read it below) from the Washoe County District Attorney’s office last week.

It details law enforcement’s actions, the response to Stone’s shooting from the Montage’s 8th floor, and what led up to the events on November 28, 2017.

What happened

Lucas Stone

According to the D.A.’s report, Stone, 30, was in bed with a woman he had met a few weeks earlier who was working at the Men’s Club. They had been watching movies and consuming alcohol. The woman left the condo at one point during the day.

 “[She] left the residence in the afternoon for approximately an hour and went for a walk and then to a local grocery store. She recalls returning as the sun was setting. Upon her return, Stone continued to consume alcohol.

“Approximately two hours after she returned the two were lying in bed when Stone began seeing things out of the bedroom window. Stone told her that he saw people throwing other people off the roof of a building. Stone then stated … that he saw a person drop a baby off the roof. 

“Stone appeared to be hallucinating and [the woman] had never seen him act this way before. Stone went to the gun safe located in the closet area of the bedroom and retrieved a rifle. Stone began shuffling around the apartment, and even though [she] tried to tell him that she did not see anything, Stone began firing the rifle. 

“[The woman] believed that at one point Stone retrieved a second rifle and [she] observed a large amount of ammunition in the apartment. Stone continued to shoot the rifle in the area of the living room.

“[She] described Stone as becoming more agitated as the situation progressed and she was afraid to make him angry. Stone continued to shoot the rifle in the direction of the living room and bedroom. Stone would take breaks in firing the weapon and reload the magazine.”

Stone was eventually shot once by law enforcement, tackled, put in handcuffs and taken to a hospital, where he died. 

“Somebody who is on methamphetamine we already know can have behaviors that can transit all the way to violence.”

The D.A.’s report showed that Stone had methamphetamine and a derivative of Kratom in his system. He was also in possession of paraphernalia to inhale Whip-Its.

A Whip-It is nitrous oxide — “laughing gas” — inhaled from whipped-cream canisters or from nitrous oxide cartridges. Police photos show seven expended Whip-It cartridges in a garbage can inside Stone’s apartment.

Image: Washoe County D.A.

‘Incredibly risky’ drug combination

Whip-Its can be deadly. 

“‘You can die using it in some circumstances,’ said Matthew Howard, social worker and editor of the Journal of Addictive Diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fortunately, he added, ‘Most people are engaged in intermittent episodic use. That’s not nearly as problematic.'”

Consuming a combination of alcohol, meth, Kratom and nitrous oxide is incredibly risky, said Iain Buxton, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

Kratom, a readily available herb, has not been thoroughly studied. One of its effects is hallucinations, according to The Mayo Clinic, which called the drug unsafe and ineffective.

“The effects of kratom become stronger as the quantity taken increases,” according to the clinic. “Many of the problems that occur with pain medications happen when these drugs are used at high doses or over a long period of time. It’s not known exactly what level of kratom is toxic in people, but as with pain medications and recreational drugs, it is possible to overdose on kratom.”

Image: Washoe County D.A.

Buxton said Kratom’s effect is similar to morphine. 

“If you put all of these three things together, what is anybody going to be to tell you about the effects?” he said. “They’re going to be, first of all, significant, and secondly, unpredictable. So somebody’s on methamphetamine we already know can have behaviors that can transit all the way to violence. 

Iain Buxton, 
Regents Professor 
and Chair, 
Department of Pharmacology, 
University of Nevada, Reno
Iain Buxton,
Regents Professor,
Department of Pharmacology,
University of Nevada,
Reno, School of Medicine

“It’s very difficult to say with any precision what to expect, except I think it’s common sense to say that somebody who has all of that going on may well be behaving erratically,” he added. “They may be seeing things that aren’t there. They’re reacting to circumstances inappropriately. If they’re already for some reason upset [or] drawn to violence, then Lord knows what happens.”

Buxton said that it’s critical to monitor possible drug interactions for legal, prescription drugs. 

“You want to be careful about side-effects about unwanted effects,” he explained. “Here you’ve got somebody who’s abusing these drugs… We have to predict that we can’t predict [that person’s behavior].”

The woman with Stone hid in the bathroom and called police while Stone was shooting.

“Stone encouraged her to call the police as he needed help protecting her from individuals whom he perceived were a threat,” the D.A.’s report explained. “[She] told police that she believed Stone was a threat to officers, herself and neighbors during the time he was actively firing his rifle.”

Image: Washoe County D.A.

Stone had moved from California to work in the Reno area. He was recently divorced from his wife and did not have a criminal record.

Police were determined to have acted justifiably in shooting Stone. A neighbor sustained a minor injury during the incident, but Stone was the only casualty. 

The shooting occurred nearly two months after the deadly October 1 Harvest Fest mass shooting in Las Vegas.


Become a ThisisReno subscriber

Help us continue to grow as a reliable, local, independent news source for the greater Reno area. Subscribers get full access to all stories.

Read the D.A.’s report