Trevor Nettleton liked to call his dad Chevy after the character portrayed by actor Chevy Chase in the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
It was a kidding reference to their friendly competition to outdo one another in decorating their homes at Christmas.
Richard Nettleton and Trevor talked about decorations the last time they spoke about two weeks ago.
“I will miss him being my son, the fact that he was raised to be a fabulous adult,” the trim 56-year-old Nettleton said Thursday during an interview in the Moxee home he shares with his wife, Fran. “You couldn’t ask for a better adult.”
Trevor Nettleton, who also followed his dad into a law enforcement career, had his life cut short early Thursday when he was shot to death by intruders in the North Las Vegas home he shared with his wife, Danielle, and their two young children. His mother Debbie, of the Tacoma area, was visiting the home at the time.
The 30-year-old Nettleton, a 1997 Davis High School graduate, had been with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department almost two years.
He had just gotten off duty as a patrol officer and was in plain clothes when he exchanged gunfire with intruders he discovered in his garage.
Las Vegas police have arrested two men, 19 and 18 years old, in connection with what police believe was a botched robbery attempt, according to the Associated Press.
The 18-year-old was wounded and faces multiple charges, including murder, the report said.
Trevor Nettleton, a standout catcher on the Davis High School baseball team, went on to play four years with the Yakima Beetles American Legion team.
The elder Nettleton said Trevor wanted something other than to pursue baseball in college. He wanted to be in law enforcement.
He entered the Marine Corps out of high school. His last station in his nine years as a Marine was at The White House in the communications section. Nettleton was part of the unit that preceded presidential trips abroad to set up communications.
He joined the Las Vegas department after graduating from the police academy in April 2007.
Richard Nettleton said he talked his son out of joining the Washington State Patrol, where Richard served for 20 years before retiring.
Instead, Trevor followed some military buddies to Las Vegas and a career as a policeman.
“He enjoyed what he was doing. He loved Las Vegas. He loved the action,” Richard said.
He described his son as a role model for young people and said he enjoyed working with youth.
“If there was a youth sport that needed help, he would help,” Richard said. “He was an outstanding person. He loved people.”
Fran Nettleton, Trevor’s stepmother, said Trevor also enjoyed being a husband and a father, roles he took on in rapid succession after he joined the police department.
Trevor’s son is 1 year old. His daughter is just 2 months old.
Trevor met Danielle in Washington, D.C., where she was stationed with the Army.
Fran Nettleton, who works in a clerical position for the Yakima Police Department, said Trevor came home in July to visit his dad after Richard suffered a heart attack.
“He missed his wife and son a lot,” she said. “He became a family man after being in the Marine Corps.”
Services for Trevor Nettleton are pending. He will receive full military and law enforcement honors.
Richard Nettleton said he and his wife liked where Trevor and Danielle lived, a quiet residential area north of Las Vegas they thought would be secure for the young family.
“I never thought that would happen where he lived,” Richard said.