A Covington man fired shots into a crowd at a popular nightclub at the Muckleshoot Casino early Sunday morning, seriously injuring two victims and wounding five others, Auburn police reported.
The shooting suspect, a 42-year-old man, was arrested and booked Sunday into the King County Jail for investigation of attempted homicide for shooting his estranged wife, her male dance partner and her sister at Club Galaxy, according to Auburn police. The man’s initial court appearance could be Monday.
Police say the shooting, which reportedly occurred around 1:30 a.m., is believed to have stemmed from a domestic violence situation between the suspect and his wife. The suspect entered the club, and after discovering the woman was with another man on the dance floor, shot both of them with a handgun.
“She was in the company of another male. Both were dancing, both were out there on the dance floor,” Auburn police Cmdr. Jamie Sidell told The Associated Press. “He went up there with a purpose, so we have to assume at this point he was looking for the female victim in this case.”
The suspect then fired multiple rounds, which resulted in five additional people sustaining gunshot wounds. As the suspect started to flee the club, a casino security officer tackled the suspect to the floor where he was detained. An off-duty Auburn police officer, who was working at the casino, arrested the man.
The handgun also was recovered, police said.
Authorities said four victims – including the woman and the man she was dancing with – were transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Two were listed in serious condition, the other two in satisfactory condition.
Three additional victims were transported to and treated at Valley Medical Center, and later released. Two people received minor injuries when they were trying to flee the scene with the rest of the crowd, police said.
Police noted that casino security doesn’t search patrons entering the casino and doesn’t use metal detectors.
But what about the security measures the casino does employ? Was there a breakdown? Tribal Spokesperson Rollin Fatland deferred the question to the investigating agency.
“… The casino’s got a robust security system in place. There’s a security person at every entrance, and they do a visual screening of patrons as they come in. If anything suggests something more needs to be done, it is done,” Fatland said.
“This is an Auburn Police investigation. Because the Auburn police are investigating, we will defer to them until they get through the initial phase of the investigation,” Fatland said.