Las Vegas Police Probes Possible Double Murder-Suicide at Palms Casino Resort

  • The two dead women found in a Palms Place hotel room may have been “romantically involved”
  • The LVMPD said the likely cause of death is a firearm as both bodies had gunshot wounds
  • While Palms Place is open, Palms Casino Resort remains shuttered since March 2020
  • A California tribe agreed to buy Palms Casino Resort from Red Rock Resorts in May 2021
  • The double deaths add to the escalating casino-vicinity body count in Vegas since the pandemic
Palms Casino Resort buildings in Las Vegas
Homicide detectives from the LVMPD are investigating the potential murder-suicide of two women found in a Palms Place hotel room on the Palms Casino Resort premises. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Two women found dead at Palms Place

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD)’s homicide division is investigating the possible murder-suicide of two women found in a hotel room on the property of the Palms Casino Resort.

According to the LVMPD’s Homicide Lieutenant Ray Spencer, police responded at around 3:00pm on August 3 to the discovery of the two dead women at Palms Place Hotel & Spa on the Palms resort grounds. Las Vegas TV station KSNV News 3 shared a video link of the live briefing by Lt. Spencer outside the Palms Casino Resort property at the 4300 block of West Flamingo, about a mile west of the Strip:

Spencer said the deceased women were black, likely to be in their mid-to-late 30s, and local residents. The Metro Homicide Lieutenant added that the women may have been “romantically involved” in relation to a note found in their room.

deceased women were black, likely to be in their mid-to-late 30s, and local residents

Hotel security discovered the two bodies on the bed after hotel maintenance forced entry into the locked room. The LVMPD said the cause of death was likely to be a firearm after the pair both suffered gunshot wounds. In response to a question at the news briefing about the heavy LVMPD presence at the scene, Spencer said it was in line “with the footprint Homicide and CSI brings.”

A skywalk leads from Palms Place to the casino at Palms Casino Resort, which remains shuttered since the pandemic outbreak in March 2020.

How will the tragedy affect the new casino owners?

The tragic, potential murder-suicide comes just under three months after the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians agreed to buy the Palms Casino Resort property from Red Rock Resorts for $650m. While the sale still requires approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission, according to Red Rock Resort’s chief financial officer Stephen Cootey, the deal “remains on track to be completed before the end of the year.”

Red Rock Resorts is the holding company of Station Casinos, which operates Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho, and formerly the Palms Casino Resort. All three resorts remain closed since the pandemic first hit last year. With Station freezing the 2021 licenses of Texas Station and Fiesta Rancho, the two casinos won’t reopen until June 2022 at the earliest.

Latisha Casas, the chairperson of the newly formed entity set to run operations at the Sin City casino resort — the San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority — spoke about the acquisition announced back in May. She said her board “believes the Palms is a casino resort that many of San Manuel Casino’s loyal guests would enjoy.”

The tragic deaths of the two women add to an already challenging environment for the California-based tribe’s first entry into the Las Vegas casino-resort scene. Recently, health officials in California, Chicago, and Hawaii warned residents not to travel to Las Vegas based on its high COVID-19 transmission rates. Then came the mandatory order that, once again, Las Vegas casino patrons, guests, and staff have to don masks in public indoor areas from July 30.

Deaths in the Valley follow Sin City trend

Tuesday’s double death just off-Strip adds to the rising body count and violent crime in and around casinos that has been plaguing Sin City since last year.

Late 2020 saw bloody scenes after a suspected drug-deal-gone-wrong gunfight in the car park of the Tropicana Las Vegas. Around the same time, security personnel fatally shot a homeless gunman in the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa’s valet area on Las Vegas Boulevard.

The LVMPD kept getting even busier investigating deaths further afield in recent days, following a group brawl in a Laughlin casino that left one man dead. Although over 90 miles outside of Sin City, Laughlin falls under the same jurisdictional county as Las Vegas – Clark.