With less than 24 hours since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, another deadly shooting took place at the Excalibur hotel casino in Las Vegas. The shooting took place Friday evening around 8:30 p.m. as a man shot a woman and was fatally wounded. The shooter then killed himself as many frightened patrons fled the scene.
According to Las Vegas Metro Police Lt. Ray Steiber, the shooting was reported to have taken place during the evening on Friday December 14th, 2012 near the high-rise hotel’s front entrance. The man approached the woman, a vendor who worked at Excalibur’s concierge desk, and shot her. Then, decided to turn the gun on himself. Steiber continued by saying that the shooter died at the scene while the woman was taken to a local hospital and later pronounced dead.
When the shooting occurred, the hotel’s registration desk was extremely busy as there were many events going on in town including the National Finals Rodeo. Steiber said that at the first sound of gunfire, patrons began to scatter. Luckily, no one else ended up being wounded. Steiber also mentioned that the victim and gunman have not been identified as well as what the relationship was between the two.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, witnesses said that while they were on the casino floor they noticed poker players quickly leaving their tables and what appeared to be many distraught people running for the exists after the gunshots were heard. Danielle Banks, age 17, and her sister, Trisha, age 14, were at the Excalibur attending a holiday cheerleader party along with 80 other cheerleaders when they suddenly heard four shots. They scrambled under a table and hid there for 10 minutes as the situation was cleared. Trisha Banks later talked to the Sun and said, “It’s scary after what happened this morning (in Newtown, Conn.) and then this. How can people do this?”
The victim was reported to have worked for the travel website VEGAS.com and is owned by the Greenspun family, who also are publishers of the Las Vegas Sun. Chief Operating Officer Bryan Allison of VEGAS.com told the newspaper that, “We were saddened to learn that a member of theVEGAS.com family was the victim of tonight’s tragic and senseless killing at the Excalibur. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.” The Excalibur, as well as several other hotels on the Las Vegas Strip is reported to be owned by MGM Resorts International. Gordon Absher, spokesman for the company, said that the casino and hotel will remain open to patrons and guests; however, police cordoned off the area where the shooting took place and will remain closed to the general public during their investigation.
The Excalibur is named after the mythical sword that King Arthur was supposedly had used. The hotel has roughly 4,000 rooms its’ location is at the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.