Note: This article was originally published 8/24/22, but technical issues required it to be re-posted.
Tragedy in Sacramento
The pandemic was not a fun time for anyone, but casinos really took a hit, as almost all of them were closed for several months and those that did reopen in 2020 did so at partial capacity. Of course, the pandemic is not over, but things are largely back to normal and casinos are doing great business. Great business means lots of people and unfortunately, a natural byproduct of more people gathering in one place means more crime. Lately, gun violence has reared its ugly head at casinos around the United States. Let’s take a look at a couple recent incidents, one of which ended tragically.
On Monday, a man attempted to rob the Capitol Casino in downtown Sacramento, California. There are not a whole lot of details on the incident, but what we do now is that when the suspect, armed with a gun, tried to rob the casino a little after 6:00am, a bystander attempted to stop him. The suspect shot and killed the good Samaritan and continued to fire his weapon as he fled the premises.
Officers arrived on the scene quickly, likely alerted as the suspect was committing the robbery, and heard gunshots as they pulled up to the casino. It was then that the man was on his way out of the casino; the police officers disarmed and apprehended him.
Police think it was just the one man who committed the crimes and that nobody else is at large. Neither the suspect nor the deceased victim have been publicly identified.
Gunshot injuries in Oregon
Earlier this month, a similar incident occurred in Oregon, but fortunately, while there were injuries, the worst was avoided.
On August 17, Javier Francisco Vigil, approached the cashier at the Wildhorse Resort and Casino and handed her a note demanding $1 million. The cashier told investigators that she initially laughed and blew it off, assuming it was a joke, but when Vigil pointed a gun at her, she realized how serious the situation was.
Vigil allegedly said, “I’m fucking god” and “I’m going to bathe everyone in blood.”
The cashier handed over $69,068, but not before hitting the silent alarm. When Vigil exited, an Umatilla Tribal Police Department officer confronted him and the two exchanged gunshots. Vigil was hit and that was it for his attempted robbery. It sounds as if he is ok and that his wounds weren’t serious.
In a recent court statement, Vigil said that though he did exchange fire with the officer, he aimed at his car, as he did not want to hurt anyone.
Someone other than Vigil did get hurt, though. Staff members of the Pendleton School District were at the casino for a school event and one got shot. As with Vigil, it appears the unnamed victim’s injuries were not life-threatening.
It is unknown who fired the bullet that struck the bystander.