An employee and patron were both wounded Sunday night at Billings, Mont.’s Treasure Cove Casino. It appears the shooter either robbed or attempted to rob the small gaming venue before fleeing.
The suspect entered the casino at about 8:43 pm. He or she then pulled out a firearm, police said. The gun was aimed at a casino worker. The employee was shot and wounded.
Then, the suspect shot a gaming property visitor while the shooter was “running out of the casino,” according to a social media post from the Billings Police Department.
The wounds on both victims were described by Billings Police Sgt. Benjamin Beck as non-life-threatening.
On Monday, police did not have updated information on the condition of the victims. It is likely both were treated for their wounds, though it is unclear if they were hospitalized.
That way out there. Bet he's been there 2 case the place & I'll bet lives in area!
— Lance Brown (@lanceb131) December 5, 2022
Further details were not released by the Billings police, KTVQ, a local TV station, reported. Nor did police release a description of the suspect.
Prior Shooting, Robbery
In an unrelated incident, last month a man plead guilty on a weapons charge in connection with a March armed robbery of Magic Diamond Casino, also in Billings.
The guns used in the robbery were stolen and were later found on school grounds. Two Montana women were arrested for the crime.
The third suspect, Darwin Dalton Sutherland, 29, of unknown address, admitted in federal court in November to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm in connection with the case. He also admitted to giving the suspects the two firearms they used in the holdup, authorities said.
On March 16, 2023, when US District Judge Susan P. Watters sentences Sutherland, he could face up to 10 years in prison, a $250K fine, and three years of supervised release, according to Montana US Attorney Jesse Laslovich.
On March 20, the robbery suspects, Taliah Jeneane Ramirez, 22, of Billings, and Makyla Shayd Fetter, 28, of Harlem, allegedly robbed liquor from the Magic Diamond Casino in Billings Heights. They grabbed five bottles of Southern Comfort from a casino shelf.
An employee asked Fetter for an ID before she allegedly pulled out a pistol, pointed it at the clerk, and said, “Here’s your … ID.” Then, Ramirez fired a gunshot into the air.
The duo then fled in a Buick, instigating a high-speed chase.
The suspects later crashed the car into a fence at Billings’ Ponderosa Elementary School, some 6.2 miles south of the casino.
Fetter was arrested soon after the holdup. Ramirez was arrested later.
The suspects ditched the two guns before jumping out of the car. One of the firearms was located by police soon after the robbery on the school’s playground. The following day, a student found the second firearm on school property and alerted a teacher. Both weapons were loaded.
Fetter and Ramirez later revealed to police they got the firearms from Sutherland.
Women Await Sentencing
Over the summer, Ramirez and Fetter both pleaded guilty to three charges and are awaiting sentencing. The charges include robbery affecting commerce, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm in a school zone.
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