By David Montero / Los Angeles Times
LAS VEGAS — Two security guards were shot dead inside a hotel room at a Las Vegas hotel-casino early Saturday morning before the gunman fled and ultimately tried to shoot himself, local police said.
Las Vegas Police Lt. Dan McGrath said the shooting happened around 6:30 a.m. at Arizona Charlie’s Hotel and Casino on Decatur Boulevard after a woman called security to report a disturbance.
Two security guards employed by the casino entered the room on the fourth floor and were shot with a handgun by the man, who was the lone occupant in the room, McGrath said.
He said the suspect then fled down the hallway with the gun and ultimately exited the rear of the casino, which is adjacent to a residential neighborhood. He has yet to be identified, McGrath said, but he believed the suspect was in his 20s and had tattoos on the back of his head and neck.
McGrath said the man tried to carjack a person in their car, but the individual closed the door on him. Then he tried to break into another car before running up to a house and confronting a woman with four children, McGrath said.
The homicide detective said the woman was able to fend off the man by not letting him into the house as he was kicking the door. McGrath said he then ran to the garage, entered the laundry area and shot himself in the head.
The suspect was taken to University Medical Center.
“I don’t expect him to live,” McGrath said.
Arizona Charlie’s is one of three casino properties owned by Golden Entertainment Inc. It also runs the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino and Arizona Charlie’s Boulder. A spokesman for the company referred all questions to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department but did say the casino didn’t shut down because the public wasn’t affected.
The shooting happened on the day before Las Vegas is preparing for its high-profile New Year’s Eve celebration on the Las Vegas Strip.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department authorities requested the U.S. Department of Homeland Security make the New Year’s Eve event — where about 330,000 people are expected to gather on the Las Vegas Strip — a SEAR 1 event. That is the highest level of security and includes measures such as snipers, extra FBI and DHS mobile stations and medical personnel.
The designation came weeks after the Oct. 1 mass shooting in which 58 people were killed and hundreds wounded when Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino before killing himself.