A tragic and violent start to the month resulted as two people at Oneida Casino were shot dead with another person seriously wounded. None of the victims was the intended target of the attack. The incident took place at the Casino’s adjoining Radisson Hotel in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. After police took charge of the situation the shooter was killed on the scene.
The lone gunman stepped into the Radisson Hotel looking for a specific target and found that the person was not on duty that evening. However, the shooter threatened the lives of all the patrons at the hotel and the casino alike. The shooter went on to shoot two of the intended target’s co-workers who were working at the hotel’s restaurant that night and injuring another victim. The wounded individual had to be rushed to the hospital to receive treatment for a serious wound that was inflicted by the shooter.
After the initial gunfire was heard, the Radisson hotel and the adjoining Oneida Casino were evacuated as quickly as possible. The casino is operated by the Oneida Nation at its tribal gaming property near Green Bay. Information was shared with the public via social media while the incident was taking place. Officials at the casino asked the general public and potential patrons to stay away from the area given that there was an active shooter on site.
According to reports from a local newspaper, other law enforcement and police rushed to the scene of the crime just after 7:00 p.m. Central Time on the evening of the incident. Accounts from witnesses described the scene that night. Max Westphal said that he was at the casino playing blackjack on the evening of the crime when the announcement was made to evacuate the premises. He added that after the announcement was made 10 to 30 gunshots could be heard followed by him and many others in the casino running from the area.
The local newspaper also stated that another witness, Taylor Schroeder said that while present in the bingo hall, players were put on lockdown without any further details as to why. It was business as usual, but 45 minutes later all the players were quickly evacuated from the area. Schroeder added that all the players were able to evacuate the scene quickly and effectively.
Furthermore, another witness came forward to give his statement according to a local TV station. Jawad Yatim was in the restaurant and also confirmed that two people had died during the shooting. Yatim went on to say that the incident occurred right next to them and that the shooter was firing his gun aggressively inside the building. This meant that Yatim would not have been surprised if more people were injured during the incident. Yatim also said how thankful he was to have gotten out safely and that he wishes all the best to those who were injured.
There were issues with crowd control the night of the incident as well according to the director of intergovernmental affairs for the Oneida Nation. The main issue was that many people were trying to find out and see what was happening instead of leaving the area immediately. However, during the emergency, a reunification centre was set up to ensure that no family or friends lost each other in the chaos, the centre was reportedly set up at the Bellin Health facility in Ashwaubenon.
After the incident, Josh Kaul, the state’s Attorney General, also took to social media to inform the general public that the scene at the Oneida Casino was contained and no longer a threat to the area and the community. No further details were provided about the shooter or the incident. The Governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers also reached out to the community to say that he and his wife were devastated by the tragedy and that their hearts and thoughts went out to everyone in the Ashwaubenon and Green Bay communities as well as the Oneida Nation.
In recent years there have been numerous shootings at or around casinos in the U.S. One of the most harrowing events occurred in October 2017. A shooter, later identified as Stephen Paddock, was in a suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. A music festival was underway on the Las Vegas strip when Paddock decided to shoot at the crowd from his hotel room. The tragedy led to hundreds of injured victims along with 58 fatalities. The tragedy ended with Paddock found deceased in his hotel suite and the incident is considered to be one of the largest mass murders in U.S. history with little to no information as to why Paddock committed this heinous crime.