Wisconsin casino shooting: Gunman was fired employee, police confirm

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. — Two people were fatally shot in what police are calling a targeted attack at a Wisconsin casino on Saturday night. The gunman was also killed, police said.

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According to the Green Bay Police Department, reports of an active shooter were received from the Oneida Casino and Radisson Hotel in Ashwaubenon, a suburb of Green Bay, WDJT reported.

Update 12:14 p.m. EDT May 3: Police have confirmed the man who opened fire at the casino was a former employee who had been fired from the restaurant and banned from the property, The Associated Press reported.

Update 1:51 a.m. EDT May 2: At a news conference, Brown County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Pawlak said the shooting began in the Duck Creek Kitchen and Bar at the Radisson Hotel, which is adjacent to the casino. While Pawlak said the relationship between the shooter and victims was unknown, he said he believed the gunman may have been a former employee or had a personal relationship with an employee at the restaurant.

“We think so, but again, it’s pretty fluid, we’re not 100% sure,” Pawlak said. “I wouldn’t want to put that out, but there’s some relationship that had to do with employment.”

Pawlak added that more information would be given during a future news conference, most likely on Monday.

Update 1:14 a.m. EDT May 2: Authorities confirmed that two people were killed in the shooting, according to The Associated Press. Police said another victim was seriously wounded before the gunman was fatally shot by police.

Brown County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Pawlak said during a news conference that investigators believe the man was targeting a specific person he was angry at. However, that person was not at Oneida Casino on Saturday night.

“It appears to be a targeted event, not a random shooting,” Pawlak said. “It was targeting a specific victim who was not there, but he (shooter) decided to still shoot some of the victim’s friends or co-workers, it appears.”

The person seriously injured was taken to a hospital in Milwaukee and was undergoing surgery, Pawlak said.

Pawlak said the investigation was certain to last into Sunday morning.

“We are in for a long night, obviously, but probably not as long as their (victims’ families) are going to be,” Pawlak said.

Update 1:10 a.m. EDT May 2: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said he and his wife were “devastated” to hear about the shooting at the casino.

Update 12:50 a.m. EDT May 2: Oneida Nation officials said the West Mason Casino, the Travel Center and Packerland Casinos will reopen at 8 a.m. on Sunday, WBAY reported. In addition, all retail stores will reopen.

Update 12:39 a.m. EDT May 2: A witness told The Associated Press that at least two people were shot.

“I know for sure two, because it happened right next to us, literally right next to us,” Jawad Yatim said. “But he was shooting pretty aggressively in the building, so I wouldn’t doubt him hitting other people.”

Yatim said the shooting began in a casino restaurant.

“We got the hell out of there, thank God we’re OK, but obviously we wish the best for everybody who’s been shot,” Yatim told the AP.

Melinda Danforth, director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Oneida Nation, told CNN the tribe had not yet “confirmed the number of casualties or injuries.”

“The shooting took place at the Radisson Inn, which is connected to the Oneida Casino,” Danforth said in an email to the news network.

Update 12:01 a.m. EDT May 2: Brandon Stevens, vice chairman of the Oneida Nation, issued a statement asking people to “keep our community in your prayers.”

Update 11:12 p.m. EDT May 1: The Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation is taking over the investigation, Oneida Nation officials told WLUK.

Update 11:01 p.m. EDT May 1: Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul tweeted that the scene at the Oneida Casino is “contained,” adding there was no longer a threat to the community.

Update 10:44 p.m. EDT May 1: Witnesses at the casino described the scene as “chaotic.

“At first, we didn’t really know what to expect. Then once we seen the cop running in there with an AR-15, we knew that this is getting pretty serious,” witness Dylan Luehring of Mayville, Wisconsin, told WLUK. “Once we heard the shots, we knew this is no joke anymore.”

Adam Olig, also from Mayville, told the television station that people were fleeing the area.

“Seen people that were a lot closer, Olig told WLUK. “There were people running all over the place, running for their dear lives.”

Update 10:34 p.m. EDT May 1: Max Westphal, of Brownsville, said he heard a “massive flurry of gunshots.”

“So, we were sitting in the casino, and it came over the loudspeaker that we had to evacuate. And, we literally thought it was a joke because we didn’t hear anything,” Westphal told WBAY. “We thought there was maybe a small fire. So, we got in an argument with the dealer to pay us out for what she owed us from the prior hand. We get shuttled outside, we walk outside, and we’re still joking around about it, and all of a sudden we hear a massive flurry of gunshots, 20-30 gunshots for sure.

“So we took off running toward the highway. ... It was honestly insane. It was crazy.”

Update 10:18 p.m. EDT May 1: According to the Green Bay Police Department, the gunman is in custody, WDJT and the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported.

Oneida Casino is operated by the Oneida Nation, the Press-Gazette reported. The Oneida tribe’s reservation is located on the west side of the Green Bay area.

Original report: Multiple emergency and law enforcement agencies were at the scene, including Appleton Police, Kaukauna Fire Department, and Wisconsin State Patrol, WGBA reported.

Bobbi Webster, the Oneida Nation director of public relations, told WLUK that officers were on the scene.

Webster added she believed someone was shot, but did not know how many and could not provide further information, the Press-Gazette reported.

“I do not believe the shooter is active anymore, but the situation is active, because (law enforcement is) there and still clearing the property,” Webster told the newspaper.

Green Bay police and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office told The Associated Press they have no details on the incident.

The Oneida Nation said all of its casinos will be closed until further notice, WISN reported.

Check back for more on this developing story.