PINETOP, Ariz. (AP) - A gunman who wounded two people outside a northern Arizona casino was shot and killed by police, authorities said Sunday.
The incident started when the alleged shooter got into an argument with his wife Saturday night in the parking lot of the Hon-Dah Resort Casino near Pinetop, according to White Mountain Apache Police Chief Travis Tessay Sr. During the argument, the suspect retrieved a rifle from a rear compartment of his sedan, Tessay said. The wife and a child who was with the couple ran into the casino.
Tessay said a casino security guard went outside to investigate and the gunman pointed his rifle at him. The guard headed back into the building but was shot twice. A casino patron who was nearby was also hurt but that person’s injuries were likely from bullet or glass fragments, Tessay said.
The casino and hotel were put on lockdown with several surrounding roads closed to traffic by police.
“A lot of people were in the area. It’s just fortunate the gunman didn’t go inside the building or fire at any other people,” Tessay said.
Tessay said by the time an officer arrived, the suspect was standing at the entrance of the parking lot along State Route 73. He allegedly pointed his rifle at passing cars and people.
A White Mountain Apache officer and an off-duty Pinetop-Lakeside officer got within 40 yards of the gunman and commanded him to put down his weapon. The suspect ignored the commands and appeared to point his weapon at them and other police units, Tessay said. Both officers opened fire and the suspect was hit. Tessay said it has not been confirmed which officer’s gun killed the suspect.
The shooter died before reaching a hospital.
The guard, who was hit in the arm, was flown to a Phoenix hospital. But he had no major internal damage and was released Sunday, Tessay said.
FBI spokesman Perryn Collier said Sunday the agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs were jointly investigating the shooting. Collier declined to release more details.
According to Tessay, police received a report a month ago that the suspect had pointed a gun at his wife but responding officers were not able to make contact with him.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.