Friend calls victim a hero, tells KIRO 7 about random deadly shooting at Emerald Queen

Friend calls victim a hero, tells KIRO 7 about random deadly shooting at Emerald Queen
Emerald Queen Casino shooting victim

TACOMA, Wash. — The friend of a man fatally shot at Emerald Queen Casino Saturday calls him a hero. She spoke with KIRO 7 over the phone.

She is one of three women who were with 27-year-old Brandon Williams when he was killed early Saturday morning, and she says if he hadn't been there, they would all be dead too.

"He was family, he was our big brother, our protector,” she told us by phone Sunday night.  That is what she tells us Brandon did early Saturday morning— protect. Ultimately, she says, that's what got him killed.

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The four friends were leaving Emerald Queen Casino when police say Jeremy Schlenker blocked in their vehicle with his.

"He's waving the gun at all of us and he gets out of his car and comes over to the passenger side,” she explained.  That’s where she was sitting.

She says she and her two girlfriends were trapped and terrified.  That's when she says Brandon stepped in

"Brandon is like ‘Dude what are you doing?  You're really going to wave a gun at three girls?’” she remembered.

What happened next is almost too horrible for her to talk about but she says she has to--for Brandon, so people will know he died so his friends would live.

“We were all there, we were all feet away.  He literally saved us.  He got the guy so he could save us.  He saved us by sacrificing himself. If it wasn't for him we wouldn't even be alive.  He's a hero.”

Police say other casino patrons saw Schlenker acting erratically; he even fired off rounds in the parking lot before his attack on Brandon for no reason, police say.

"We were just four best friends trying to go home,” she said.

Cameras at the casino recorded Schlenker's vehicle and plate number, so even though he sped off after the shooting, he was captured by police Saturday afternoon in Salem, Oregon.