February 21, 2009 – The Nellis Air Force Base airman who died in what is believed to be a murder-suicide Friday morning was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder, a base spokeswoman told the Review-Journal today.
What role the possible disorder played in his death is still unknown, Capt. Amanda Ferrell said. The airman, 25-year-old Jason Matthew Klinkenberg, was receiving treatment in response to events that took place during a five-month tour of Iraq between 2005 and 2006, she said.
Details of those events weren’t available today. Ferrell said there weren’t any medals or awards in his file that would indicate he was injured during his tour.
Klinkenberg’s death came after a roughly two-hour standoff with police inside an apartment at the Craig Ranch Villas, at 370 Casa Norte Drive, near Commerce Street and Lone Mountain Road.
Police said Klinkenberg’s wife contacted a friend, who called police about 5:30 a.m. claiming that Klinkenberg was holding a gun to his wife’s head.
When officers arrived, Klinkenberg retreated into the ground-level apartment and fired shots out of the window at officers. Police did not return fire.
About 8 a.m., SWAT officers entered the apartment to find the couple dead. Clark County marriage records show he married his wife, 23-year-old Crystal Klinkenberg, in July 2007. The Clark County Coroner’s office will determine whether the incident was a murder-suicide.
Klinkenberg was a vehicle operator with the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron. Ferrell said he had begun receiving treatment for PTSD on base but was eventually referred to an off-base specialist.
How long he had been serving at the base, or whether he had been diagnosed with PTSD, was not available today.
Ferrell said the Air Force is offering assistance to his family.
“We encourage them to come to us for anything they need, whether it’s the emotional support and assistance, or to serve as an intermediary with the media,” Ferrell said.
Ferrell did not know whether funeral services had been arranged.
Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at email@example.com or 702-383-0440.