Capitol Casino Robber Faces Life for Murder of Security Guard

Posted on: November 29, 2023, 07:20h. 

Last updated on: November 30, 2023, 11:01h.

On Aug. 22, 2022, Sean Bernal, a 27-year-old security guard at Sacramento, California’s Capitol Casino, was shot dead as he attempted to prevent a robbery.

Dawan Pecot, Sean Bernal, Capitol Casino, Sacramento
The Capitol Casino, a card club in Sacramento, Calif., has been the scene of several recent shootings. Security guard Sean Bernal was shot dead by Dhawan Pecot during a robbery, according to prosecutors. (Image: URComped)

His killer, Dawan Pecot, 38, was convicted this week of first-degree murder by a Sacramento Superior Court.

After Pecot attempted to rob the cardroom on North 16th Street in Sacramento’s River District, Bernal walked him from the premises at taser point, according to prosecutors. Outside, Pecot pulled a gun on the security guard and marched back into the casino.

Pecot headed to the cashier’s cage, where he pointed his gun at a casino employee. Bernal attempted to tase the assailant, who then shot him once in the neck, killing him.

Tackled by Police

Pecot stole more than $38K before fleeing while being pursued by a casino employee. Pecot attempted to hide in his car and, when police arrived on the scene, he made a break for freedom while firing a shot toward the employee.

Pecot attempted to escape on foot before being tackled to the ground by police and arrested. Responding officers administered medical aid to Bernal, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bernal was the father of a one-year-old daughter at the time of his death. In an interview with FOX40 in August 2022, Bernal’s mother, Susan Bernal, described her son as a hero who loved his job.

“Sean was out of the casino, from what I understand, and he went back in to try to save the car dealers, the workers, the coworkers, anybody he could, to get them out,” Susan Bernal said “He wouldn’t have been able to live with himself and come home that night or that day if he’d known that he didn’t do nothing and somebody else got killed. So, for that, I’m kind of pissed off. But I understand why you did it, but I’m kind of mad that he did it.”

Pecot faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 12, 2024.

Prior Shootings

The Capitol Casino has witnessed several shootings over the past 10 years. In November 2016, casino worker Nicholas Broadway was fatally shot outside the cardroom.

Broadway was caught in the crossfire of a shootout between an off-duty Sacramento police officer and Luis Alfonso Castillo, who was later sentenced to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder.

In July 2021, local woman Renee Walker was shot outside the club and succumbed to her injuries three days later. Arviel Robertson, 36, was apprehended in Texas and has been charged with homicide in connection with that shooting.