2 killed in shooting at Wisconsin casino; gunman slain

Mike Roemer
Associated Press

Green Bay, Wis. –  A gunman killed two people at a Wisconsin casino restaurant and seriously wounded a third before he was killed by police, authorities said.

Brown County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Pawlak said the shooting at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay Saturday evening appeared to be a targeted attack.

“He was targeting a specific victim who was not there, but he decided to still shoot some of the victim’s friends or co-workers, it appears,” Pawlak said at a news conference early Sunday.

Police stand guard in the parking area outside the Oneida Casino in the early morning hours of Sunday, May 2nd, 2021, near Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Authorities have not released the identities of the gunman or his victims.

Pawlak wasn’t sure if the shooter was a former employee of the restaurant, but said “it appears there’s some relationship that had to do with employment.”

“Whether or not they all worked there, we’re still working on,” he said.

The wounded person was being treated at a Milwaukee hospital, Pawlak said.

The attack happened around 7:30 p.m. at the casino operated by the Oneida Nation, whose reservation is located on the western side of Green Bay.

Jawad Yatim, a witness, said he saw at least two people shot.

“I know for sure two, because it happened right next to us, literally right next to us,” Yatim said. “But he was shooting pretty aggressively in the building, so I wouldn’t doubt him hitting other people.”

Yatim said the shooting began in a casino restaurant.

“We got the hell out of there. Thank God we’re OK, but obviously we wish the best for everybody who’s been shot,” he said.

Attorney General Josh Kaul tweeted shortly before 10 p.m. that the scene was “contained. There is no longer a threat to the community.”

Webster said the casino is connected to a large hotel and conference center, the Radisson, also owned by the Oneida Nation.

Gambler Max Westphal said he was standing outside after being evacuated from the building for what he thought was a minor issue.

“All of a sudden we hear a massive flurry of gunshots – 20 to 30 gunshots for sure,” Westphal told WBAY-TV. “We took off running towards the highway. … There had to have been 50 cop cars that came by on the highway. It was honestly insane.”

Pawlak said authorities called for a “tactical alert” after receiving the report of an active shooter. That “brings every agency from around the area to the casino, to the Radisson,” he said of the large law enforcement presence.

Gov. Tony Evers issued a statement late Saturday saying he was “devastated” to hear about the shooting.

“Our hearts, thoughts, and support go out to the Oneida Nation, the Ashwaubenon and Green Bay communities, and all those affected by this tragedy.”

The Oneida is one of 11 tribes that operate casinos in Wisconsin under agreements with the state called compacts. Essentially, the tribes pledge a percentage of their gaming revenue to the state in exchange for the exclusive right to offer casino gambling. Tribal gaming in Wisconsin generated nearly $1.3 billion in gross revenue in the 2018-2019 fiscal year but suffered deep losses in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

Associated Press writer Doug Glass contributed from Minneapolis; Mayuko Ono contributed from London.