Gunfire Erupts Inside Taj Mahal Casino, 1 Dead


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The sound of gunfire rocked the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City on Wednesday afternoon -- with deadly results.

Emergency units responded to the casino just after 4:30 p.m. to remove an employee suffering from at least one gunshot wound. The victim, Ray Kot, a shift manager who had been with the casino since the day it opened in 1990, later died, police said.
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"He was the loveliest human being you ever want to meet," said Mark Juliano, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts, which runs the casino. "He didn't have an enemy in the world."

Juliano said the shooter, whose identity wasn't immediately disclosed, was a regular patron who knew the victim and that there did not appear to be a dispute between the two.

Kot, of Egg Harbor Township, was shot three to four times in a nonpublic office just off the casino floor, Juliano said. He was taken to a medical center, where he died several hours later following surgery.

The shooter was not a casino employee, Juliano said.

State police said the shooter was a 57-year-old man from Norristown, Pa., who apparently knew Kot from past instances as a patron at the casino. Charges against the man were pending.

The shooting and its aftermath were not visible from the casino floor, and the gambling hall remained fully open until management shut its table games down Wednesday evening and sent home workers assigned there. Slot machines remained open.

Witnesses said the male assailant pulled a gun inside the Taj Mahal and shot the employee during what appears to have been a robbery. Police said the suspect was taken into custody at the scene and the weapon was recovered.

The Taj Mahal is a Trump hotel and casino on Virginia Avenue along Boardwalk at the famous Steel Pier. It was the second incident involving a gunshot at the casino this year. On Jan. 30, a suspect in a New York embezzlement case pulled a gun and threatened to kill himself in an office there, sparking an 11-hour standoff that included his accidentally firing a shot before he surrendered.

In that incident, the man, from Coram, N.Y., was being sought by New York authorities who had tracked him to the casino and were escorting him into a security office.

During questioning, the man pulled out a handgun. A police officer pushed him into a holding cell and locked the door.

The Taj Mahal is the largest of three Atlantic City casinos run by Trump Entertainment Resorts, the gambling company formerly run by Donald Trump.

Trump relinquished control of it during a 2005 bankruptcy, and in February he resigned as its chairman when bond holders rebuffed his efforts to buy it.

The casino is one of the largest in Atlantic City, with 4,000 slot machines and 210 tables games. It opened a 782-room second hotel tower last September.

The Taj Mahal, along with the Trump Plaza Hotel Casino and the Trump Marina Hotel Casino, is in bankruptcy court following a February Chapter 11 filing.

Please stay with CBS 2 HD and for more on this developing story.

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