‘A loss like this is devastating:’ Oneida Nation, witnesses react to shooting at casino complex that left three dead

NOW: ‘A loss like this is devastating:’ Oneida Nation, witnesses react to shooting at casino complex that left three dead

GREEN BAY, Wis. (CBS 58) – A gunman killed two people and injured a third at a casino complex operated by the Oneida Nation on the evening of Saturday, May 1. Police shot and killed the gunman.

The shooting happened around 7:30 p.m. at the Duck Creek Kitchen + Bar located inside the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center.

Police said the shooting appeared to be targeted and not random.

“It was targeting a specific victim who was not there but he decided to still shoot some of the victim’s friends or coworkers, it appears,” Lt. Kevin Pawlak of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department said in a news conference early Sunday morning.

The injured person was transported to a hospital in Milwaukee.

Witnesses described the scene as shots began to ring out.

“We were playing some machines and people started running out of the casino,” Domic Heiden told CBS 58’s sister station WFRV. “My father was on the other side of the casino where it happened and he came running and was like, ‘hey there’s an active shooter going on.’”

Another described the moment they heard gunshots.

“Within a minute or two after exiting, we heard multiple gunshots,” Miles Holmes said. “They were very quick and loud. Sounded like a firecracker.”

Multiple agencies responded to the calls of an active shooter.

“As officers realized it was similar to an active shooter that we train for, they called for a tactical alert which brings every agency from around the area to the casino,” Lt. Pawlak said.

“It was just chaos,” Kathy Falcinelli told CBS 58 in an interview.

Falcinelli and her husband, Tom, were visiting from out of town and staying at the hotel.

Falcinelli described the scene as she was about to enter the hotel lobby from the elevator but received a call from her husband telling her about the situation.

“I could just see people running through, people were pushing other people out the door, there’s just yelling, ‘you’ve got to get out of here now, you’ve got to get out of here now,” Falcinelli said.

She was able to go back to her hotel room and eventually exit the building safely. Falcinelli said she was grateful for her safety but the experience left her concerned about the prevalence of gun violence.

“You can just be anywhere nowadays and you don’t know if something like this is going to happen.”

Oneida Nation leaders also expressed the mourning for their community at a news conference Sunday.

“It’s a very difficult situation,” Oneida Nation Chairman Tehassi Hill told reporters. “We look at everybody here as family and so a loss like this is devastating.”

Tribal leaders said they were grateful for the swift response from law enforcement and the active shooter training in place at the complex. The tribe is providing counseling to staff and community members following the shooting and will be conducting a safety analysis for future prevention efforts.

In a statement, Governor Tony Evers said he and First Lady Kathy Evers were ‘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 said.

“I am thinking today of the victims who lost their lives at the Radisson near Green Bay yesterday evening, those who have lost a family member or a friend, and the many people who went through a terrifying active shooter situation,” Attorney General Josh Kaul said in a statement. “Far too many families across Wisconsin and the country have had to endure the pain caused by gun violence.”

The Brown County Sheriff’s Department is set to hold a news conference Monday morning when it is expected to release more information about the investigation into the shooting.

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