Over the months of July and August, casino robberies have been taking place across the US with increasing regularity. Now, a recent fatal killing in Sacramento has underlined the rise in gun-related crimes at gambling venues.
The victim is currently unidentified
On Monday, an armed robbery at Capitol Casino in downtown Sacramento left one man dead. The victim is currently unidentified but believed to be a casino security guard or a bystander. Twitter user @onscene911 shared images from the casino after the shooting:
The casino markets itself as a “top poker destination […] with the biggest prize pools in the region.” The armed suspect, who is in custody but remains unidentified, apparently took a liking to someone else’s prize.
The shooting victim reportedly intervened during the robbery, leading to the fatal incident. The Sacramento Police Department (SPD) said personnel from the fire department pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
According to the Sacramento Bee, SPD officers responded just after 6am to the casino’s location in Sacramento’s River District. The caller notified police of a robbery “in which the suspect was reported to be armed with a firearm.”
The suspect fled after gunning down the man trying to thwart his robbery. He continued to shoot during his escape, allowing SPD officers to locate him by the sound of the gunshots before eventually disarming and detaining him.
SPD homicide detectives investigating the shooting think it was an isolated incident, and don’t believe any other suspects were involved.
Series of US shootings
Monday’s fatality was preceded by another recent casino shooting in California’s northern neighboring state Oregon. Javier Francisco Vigil’s attempted armed robbery of Wildhorse Resort and Casino on August 17 ultimately failed, but an innocent bystander was injured during the shootout. Evidence has since emerged that Vigil threatened to “bathe everyone in blood.”
ambushed an armored car
Back in California earlier this month, robbers ambushed an armored car outside Gardena’s Hustler Casino. Fortunately for the security guard who was shot, his wounds were not fatal.
Meanwhile, last month in Iowa, violent robbers forced a woman off the road to steal the $18,000 she’d won at Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack & Hotel in Altoona.