Two people were shot dead at a hotel and casino in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Saturday night before police fatally shot the gunman, authorities say.
Another victim was left seriously injured.
“The suspect is deceased. The police have shot the suspect so there’s no threat to the public,” Lt. Kevin Pawlak of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office said at a late-night press conference near the scene.
The gunman, he said, was “targeting a specific victim who was not there but he decided to still shoot some of the victim’s friends and coworkers, it appears.”
The gunman has not yet been identified, and Pawlak said it is not yet clear if he himself was an employee, or if he simply had a relationship of some kind with an employee.
News about the fate of the suspect and the victims came after hours of chaos that began at around 7:30 p.m., when police first responded to the casino in Ashwaubenon for reports of an active shooter. Video from the scene showed police vehicles swarming the building, and officers rushing inside, some apparently with weapons drawn, as the casino took to Twitter to warn the public to stay away.
Officials with the Oneida Nation, which operates the casino in Ashwaubenon, confirmed earlier that several people had been shot and said the suspected gunman was believed to be apprehended.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said just before 10 p.m. local time that there was “no longer a threat to the community.”
Melinda J. Danforth, the director of intergovernmental affairs for Oneida Nation, told The Daily Beast the shooting occurred in the restaurant of the Radisson Inn that is connected to the casino.
A witness interviewed by local news outlet WFRV-TV was quoted as saying that casino guests were evacuated from the building and “within minutes of the evacuation, multiple gunshots from the active shooter and police were shot. Went on for a couple minutes and then ceased.”
An unnamed witness quoted by Action 2 News said he had heard a gunshot in the restaurant and then saw someone fall down. Another witness described seeing police officers firing their weapons into the parking ramp.
“So, we were sitting in the casino, and it came over the loudspeaker that we had to evacuate. And, we literally thought it was a joke because we didn’t hear anything. …. We get shuttled outside, we walk outside, and we’re still joking around about it, and all of a sudden we hear a massive flurry of gunshots, 20-30 gunshots for sure,” Max Westphal told Action 2 News. “So we took off running toward the highway. Got out there and I mean that’s pretty much it, that’s all we heard. There was cops… there had to have been 50 cops cars that came by on the highway, it was honestly insane. It was crazy.”
The Brown County Sheriff’s Office said the Oneida Police are investigating the shooting together with the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation. “We are gathering facts and will update as available,” the sheriff’s office said.