Fired Casino Worker Shoots Manager At Barona Gaming Commission OfficeDecember 30, 2009 11:50 am
Tuesday morning was the scene of a horrific shooting at the Barona Gaming Commission Building in California, after a disgruntled ex-employee shot dead the man believed responsible for him losing his job, before turning the gun on himself.
The incident occured around 10 a.m., when according to eye witnesses, Donnell Roberts (38) pulled up in his truck next to the building located behind the casino, and walked into the office of the commission manager with a shotgun over his shoulder. He then ordered three secretaries to leave before firing three to four shots at the manager.
At least 15 people heard the shots ringing out as they hastily left the building, and it wasn’t until 5 hours later that a remote-controlled robot sent in by the authorities confirmed the bodies of the two men in the office. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore, commenting on the incident said, “Our worst fears were confirmed. It appears to be a murder-suicide.”
Roberts had been working as an investigator at the Barona Gaming Commission, along with 40 other employees, who were responsible for issuing licences and investigating any complaints pertaining to the casino’s 3,000 employees. It is not clear why Roberts was fired from the post, but Rick Salinas, the casino’s general manager commented, “He was a professional, he did his job, and from my understanding he did it well.”
Donnell Roberts’ ex-wife, Maria Small, said she had last spoke to him on Christmas day, when he told her he had just lost his job but had “something in the works.” She continued:
“He said he wanted to kill him, I was like, what the heck are you talking about. I knew there was that rage there,I just didn’t think he would go through with it….He was always angry.It was more of a sadness. He was never happy with anything — never.”
Roberts had a checkered past and his father, a police officer, had committed suicide when his son was just 10 years old. More recently, Roberts’ had been experiencing difficulties paying child maintenance towards his 7 children and had filed for bankruptcy in 2003. As the details of events leading up to the tragedy unfold, Chris McGoey, a security consultant in Los Angeles commented on the unhinged frame of mind experienced by such tragic characters:
“It’s totally emotional. They’re not thinking about the outcome or what’s going to happen next. They’re just driven by rage.”