Indiana cops search for suspects in Ameristar casino garage shooting


Posted on: July 23, 2021, 9:41 a.m.

Last update on: July 23, 2021, 11:24 am.

A 26-year-old man remained in hospital on Friday after being shot several times in the parking lot of the Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, Indiana, local police said. It is the latest fatal crime to take place in playground garages nationwide.

The police were looking for witnesses
The entrance to the Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, Indiana, pictured above. The casino parking lot was the scene of a shootout on Thursday. (Picture: The Times of Northwest Indiana)

The East Chicago victim was identified by police as Kwamaine D. Tarver of Tinley Park, Illinois. He was injured around 1:30 a.m. Thursday on the second floor of the garage.

He was listed in serious condition on Friday. He first received treatment at St. Catherine’s Hospital in East Chicago. He was later taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center for more complex treatment.

No arrests had been made in the case on Friday morning. “This matter is still under investigation and no further details will be released at this time,” the East Chicago Police Department said in a Facebook post.

Police in East Chicago continued to investigate the shooting on Friday. It is believed that they were looking for and analyzing possible evidence. They were also looking for witnesses. Some passers-by reportedly heard gunshots in the garage. Police could also examine photos and videos taken by the casino’s surveillance cameras.

The casino is located in East Chicago, a small town 24 miles southeast of Chicago.

Previous shots in a casino parking garage

The East Chicago shooting was the latest violent incident in casino parking lots in the past year, according to a report by

For example, in March, the parking lot of the Motor City Casino in Detroit was the scene of a fatal shooting of a 25-year-old man. In February, two men had to be hospitalized after being stabbed multiple times in a parking lot at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada.

Additionally, two bandits attacked an elderly man last Christmas Day in a parking lot at a Las Vegas gambling property before stealing his wallet. The victim of the assault at Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall would be 90 years old, according to the Review-Journal of Las Vegas.

In October, police in Palm Springs, California, shot dead two theft suspects as they attempted to quickly pull away from a parking lot at Agua Caliente Casino. One of them had just robbed a woman at gunpoint.

The October incident followed a shooting in September at a parking garage on the same gambling property. The previous violent attack on the casino owned by the Agua Caliente gang of Cahuilla Indians was the subject of an investigation as an attempted homicide.

Last August, a fatal shooting took place in a garage at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington. In July, another fatal shootout occurred at the Winner’s Way parking lot at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Florida.

Casino Garages Site vulnerable to crime

In an interview in 2020, Brad Bonnell, director of the Hotel Security group, said that these incidents come as no surprise, given the isolation of casino parking lots and the way they ensure the anonymity of criminals.

Predators know that the garages of casino-hotels … [have] well-funded tourists, ”he said.

Bonnell is a former Vice President of Loss Prevention for Extended Stay America and a former Global Director of Security for InterContinental Hotels. Previously, he was the Georgia State Patrol Chief of Staff and an agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

He adds that designing a garage can make a property more attractive to criminals. Many garages are closed, have multiple levels and sloping ramps, Bonnell said. They have stairwells and elevators, he added.

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