January 6

Man opens fire in Las Vegas casino, 3 wounded, including Van Nuys boy

first_img“These are the real heroes. They saw him shooting and tackled him and held him,” police Lt. Randy Sutton said. He identified those who stepped in as three off-duty out-of-town police officers and two military personnel, but said he did not know their names. “Amazingly, few people were hurt,” Sutton said. Troy Sanchez, a 13-year-old from Van Nuys, who was wounded in the left ankle, said he heard more than 10 gunshots from a balcony over an escalator that takes customers to the casino floor. “We thought it was fireworks,” Sanchez said of himself, his mother and his older brother, a worker at the casino’s Manhattan Express roller coaster who was off work at the time. A man opened fire from a casino mezzanine inside a Las Vegas Strip casino early Friday, wounding three people, including a 13-year-old boy from Van Nuys, before being tackled by officers and patrons, authorities said. “It was crazy, pandemonium,” said Jade Jacobson, 28, a tourist from Deland, Fla., whose cousin, a dance teacher from Pennsylvania, was wounded in the leg. “People were running and jumping over slot machines and knocking over chairs,” Jacobson said. “It was the scariest thing I ever dealt with. All I was thinking was that I could die right now.” Police revised initial reports that four people were wounded in the 12:45 a.m. shooting at the New York New York hotel-casino, and credited bystanders with subduing the gunman before on-duty police arrived. They were in a tile-floored promenade near the escalator, watching a promotional video for the roller coaster, when panicked people began pushing and running and he was wounded. Sanchez said he didn’t think he was targeted. “I didn’t even see the guy at all,” the teen said. “He was just firing randomly anywhere.” The man, believed to be in his early 50s and a Las Vegas resident, “discharged his firearm several times” at patrons below, said Officer Ramon Denby, a Las Vegas police spokesman. Sutton and police Capt. James Dillon said three people were wounded, despite early reports were that two women and two men were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening wounds. Sanchez and Jacobson’s cousin, who refused to be identified, were treated at University Medical Center in Las Vegas and released. Police said a third person was treated at the scene for a graze wound and released. Police were not immediately sure how many shots were fired. Denby said investigators were collecting bullet shell casings. Denby said the casino was packed with people in town after Independence Day for a holiday weekend. The man, whose identity has not been released, was not a hotel employee or a guest, Denby said. He was being questioned by police while investigators reviewed surveillance tapes from inside and outside the casino, Sutton said. The man entered the casino from a Las Vegas Boulevard walkway connecting the New York-New York to the MGM Grand hotel-casino about 12:45 a.m. and opened fire with a handgun, randomly shooting at people on the casino floor below, authorities said. “This is a very rare incident,” said Denby. “It seems like some local guy who snapped and went to the hotel to do it.” Denby said the casino remained open while investigators were interviewing witnesses. Casino spokeswoman Yvette Monet said hotel and casino operations were fully restored by 6 a.m. “We are handling guest inquires as they come in,” said Monet. “Guests are being informed that it’s business as usual.” New York-New York, which has about 2,000 rooms, is owned by casino giant MGM Mirage Inc.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more