ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (CBS Chicago/CBS News/AP) — A gunman killed two people at the Oneida Casino in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin outside Green Bay, and seriously wounded a third before he was killed by police late Saturday, in what authorities said appeared to be a targeted attack.
The Oneida Nation said the shooting happened at the Duck Creek Bar and Grill in the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center adjacent to the casino.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Frost Advisory Along And North Of I-88
CBS 58 Milwaukee reported patrons fled the casino after gunshots broke out around 7:30 p.m.
By 10 p.m., authorities said there was no longer a threat to the community.
Brown County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Pawlak said investigators believe the gunman was seeking a specific person at whom he was angry.
“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.
Neither the gunman nor the shooting victims were immediately identified. The wounded person was being treated at a Milwaukee hospital, Pawlak said.
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.”
A witness described the confusion when the shooting happened.
“Because people were confused, they’re like: ‘Is there a fire? What’s the siren about? Is there an accident?’” a witness said, “and they, the employees were very clear. They said: ‘There’s an active shooter. Get up and go.’”
Jawad Yatim, also 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. We got the hell out of there. Thank God we’re OK, but obviously we wish the best for everybody who’s been shot.”
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.
It was believed that the casino was more crowded than usual because of the Kentucky Derby.
Oneida Chairman Tehassi Hill told a local news station on Sunday that he was in “disbelief” and called the shooting “scary.” He said the tribe prohibits firearms on its properties but that “(mass shootings are) kind of a regular thing in this country.”READ MORE: Plan For High-Rise Development Has Some Oak Park Residents Fired Up
Hill said a local news station that he feels security is tight in the casino but that the tribe may have to consider tougher protocols for the complex depending on investigators’ findings.
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur tweeted condolences Sunday to everyone affected by the shooting.
My deepest condolences to all those affected by last night’s shooting here in Green Bay. We have the smallest & closest community in professional sports. It’s unfortunate anytime events like this occur & sad when it hits so close to home.
— Matt LaFleur (@CoachMLaFleur) May 2, 2021
“We have the smallest and closest community in professional sports,” LaFleur said. “It’s unfortunate anytime events like this occur & sad when it hits so close to home.”
Wisconsin 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.”
Evers, a Democrat, called a special legislative session on gun control in the fall of 2019. He proposed a so-called “red flag” law that would have allowed judges to take guns away from peopled deemed to be a danger, and a bill requiring a background check for almost all gun purchases. Republicans who control the Legislature refused to consider either measure.
Sen. Rob Cowles, a Republican who represents the Green Bay area, issued a statement saying the community has suffered a “traumatic event.”
“My heart goes out to those impacted by the shooting, to the Oneida Nation and to all of Northeast Wisconsin as we continue coping with this senseless violence,” he said. “Those victims and families of those killed and injured will remain in my thoughts and prayers.”
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.MORE NEWS: ONLY ON 2: Mother Speaks After 7-Year-Old Griffith, Indiana Boy Was Run Over By Car; He Remains Hospitalized
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)