Woman Shot Inside Milwaukee Casino
In an unusual incident, a 23-year-old woman was shot inside a Wisconsin casino over the weekend. At around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, shots rang out on the gambling floor of the Potawatomi Bingo Casino, located near downtown Milwaukee.
“We all of a sudden heard a bang,” said Milwaukee resident Cheryl Anderson. “It was a shooting, you could tell. It was so loud like a cannonball. We hit the floor, everybody was panicking. We just stayed there because we didn’t know what the heck to do. We saw a guard running, everybody running.”
Other patrons grab gun after argument
According to witnesses, the shots were fired following an argument between two patrons. The scene caused confusion and some panic, with some Potawatomi guests stampeding toward the door while others moved in to wrestle the gun away from the suspected shooter, a 27-year-old man who is reportedly from Wawautosa, a suburb of Milwaukee.
Witnesses identified a casino patron named Steven Karr, said to be a retiree with a background in security work, as being the man who got the gun away from the shooter. The suspect was later arrested at the casino.
“It looked like a bad game of Twister with a gun,” said Antonio Felder, who witnessed the shooting and its aftermath.
“Everybody had their hands on the gun. It could have gotten worse,” Felder remarked.
Violence in casinos rare despite generally low security
Ask anyone who regularly visits land-based casinos in the United States what security is like at such properties, and most will answer in the same way – that aside from floor employees keeping a lookout for card counters and other would-be cheaters, security at most casinos seems to be fairly lax.
For the most part, patrons are not required to walk through any sort of metal detector or other device that screens for dangerous weapons like knives or guns. In fact, at most casinos in the US, identification is not checked at the door to even ensure that patrons are of legal gambling age (though at other places within a casino, IDs may be checked, such as at a casino bar).
All that considered, incidents such as the one that happened at Potawatomi over the weekend tend to be quite rare, with violent episodes being isolated, and often somewhat shocking simply because of how seldom such incidents occur.
Representatives for Potawatomi said that there had been a robbery at the casino in 2011 and shots fired outside the building in the past, though never inside the premises.
Some guests want metal detectors installed
After Sunday’s shooting at Potawatomi, some patrons say they don’t plan to return until the casino installs metal detectors.
Other guests, including James Comerford, an attorney from Illinois who was celebrating a bachelor party at the casino at the time the shooting took place, remarked that security was not only “light,” but that security staff on duty seemed not to know how to react to both the shooting the ensuing stampedes as guests made a hasty break for the exits.
“We were appalled. They had no plan,” Comerford told the media.
For their part, representatives from Potawatomi have said little about the unfortunate incident, instead referring questions to the police department.
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