The first week of any month is usually a lucrative time for many gambling venues across the US. However, March was different and brought not just one violent incident to the doorstep of a casino venue, but two. While one of the incidents led to one casualty while the incident in Wisconsin led to three fatalities and one casualty. The shooter, who has been identified, responsible for killing two people at the Oneida’s Casino complex in Wisconsin was an ex-employee of the restaurant where the incident took place. The perpetrator refused to cooperate with law enforcement and was shot dead on the scene.
The Monday after the event took place, Sheriff Todd Delain, from Brown County, identified the perpetrator as Bruce K. Pofahl. The sixty-two-year-old ex-employee was the food and beverage manager at the eatery until he was dismissed from his job earlier this year. After his dismissal, he had been prohibited from setting foot in the building for reasons that remain undisclosed. Initial reports of the incident indicated that the shooter had had a disagreement with the intended victim of the incident. However, the person that Pofahl was looking for was not at the restaurant and bar on that fateful Saturday event. As a result, Pofahl opened fire on the staff inside the restaurant and those who were near to it.
The restaurant, called the Duck Creek Kitchen and Bar, is situated in the Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre, which is adjacent to the tribal casino, close to Green Bay, which is owned by the Oneida tribe. The West Mason, Travel Center and Packerland casinos were closed after the incident took place and were allowed to reopen on Sunday. However, the Irene Moore Activity centre, which is used as a bingo hall, and the main casino remain closed. The tribe will share details with the public regarding the reopening.
The incident took place on Saturday evening when the assailant made his way into the restaurant and approached the waiter station. It is unclear if any words were exchanged but the perpetrator then opened fire on two employees at close range. On his way out of the restaurant, the shooter opened fire on another victim outside the venue. The Green Bay Police Department confronted the assailant on the parking ramp of the first floor and shot the man in question. The incident, in its entirety, lasted about ten minutes and the shooter had used a 9mm handgun.
The two victims who were pronounced dead have been identified as Ian. J Simpson, 32, and Jacob T.Bartel, 35. Daniel L. Mulligan, the youngest victim, was hospitalized for his serious wounds and reports from the Milwaukee hospital indicate that he was in serious condition on the Monday following the event. The Green Bay police officers who were involved in the confrontation, and subsequent shooting, have been placed on administrative leave as is the protocol. As this horrific event took place, other members of the community were hosting private events at the complex. This includes a wedding, hockey team dinner and a bachelor party.
The gaming property is operated by the Oneida Nation. Tribal officials have come forward to share their sentiments with the public and sympathize with the families of the deceased. Oneida Casino’s General Manager, Louise Cornelius, took to Facebook and shared that the tribal casino, and its employees, were heartbroken by the horrible incident that took place. There were between 150 and 200 casino employees on the complex property when the shooting occurred. Cornelius has also reminded employees that counselling has been made available and that the tribe, and casino, are providing support to their employees. She concluded by stating that the safety of staff and guests has always been a top priority for the venue and this was proven by the manner in which the staff behaved when the event took place.
Tribal Vice Chairman, Brandon Stevens, stated that as the event has taken place in the Oneida Nation community, the tribe is treating the community and the situation as if it had happened to their family. He shared heartfelt convalescences to the friends and family of those who were affected by the event, as well as all of the staff, members of the community and law enforcement who had to be on site.
The Oneida Nation prohibits the use and carrying of firearms on its property and will be reviewing its safety and security protocols. The Chairman of the tribe, Tehassi Hill, shared that horrible and spontaneous events such as the shooting are difficult to stop but the tribe has made sure to have proper responses for several emergencies. Meanwhile, Wiscon’s Governor, Tony Evers, took to social media to share that he was entirely devastated by the tragedy that took place.