Grand Gateway Hotel Killer Pleads Guilty, Discrimination Lawsuit Filed
Posted on: October 27, 2023, 12:04h.
Last updated on: October 27, 2023, 12:48h.
A Rapid City, S.D. man who shot to death an acquaintance at the Grand Gateway Hotel in the city, sparking a “racist ban,” has pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter.
Quincy Bear Robe, 21, admitted to killing Myron Blaine Pourier Jr. on March 19, 2022, in a room at the Grand Gateway. The next day, the hotel’s owner, Connie Uhre, banned all Native Americans from the hotel and its casino bar, Cheers. Both Bear Robe and the victim were Native American.
The act caused uproar, leading to several civil rights lawsuits and a spate of demonstrations against the hotel by Native American groups and their supporters.
Bear Robe initially pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and was due to go on trial on that charge on November 7. By accepting the manslaughter plea deal, he admits to killing Pourier with a dangerous weapon but without the intention to cause his death.
Drunken Argument Led to Tragedy
Bear Robe acknowledged he was in the hotel with several other people that night. He admitted he was drunk and that he had a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, according to the plea.
He said he and Pourier got into an argument before he pulled the gun and fired two shots. One hit Pourier, who died in the hospital on April 3, two weeks after the shooting.
After hearing the gunshots, hotel security spotted Bear Robe fleeing the scene, according to the arrest report. They alerted a female police officer in the hotel parking lot on a different call.
The officer pursued Bear Robe, who was still armed and was able to make an arrest, according to the Rapid City Police Department.
New Lawsuit Filed
The Grand Gateway closed at the height of the racially charged controversy but has since reopened. Earlier this month, Owner Uhre was found guilty of two counts of common assault for attacking protestors with a bottle of Pledge.
While the Grand Gateway has claimed there is no racist policy, a lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the District of South Dakota Western Division this week says different.
The plaintiffs, Wisconsin couple Jessica and Ryan White said they booked rooms online and arrived for their stay on August 13 this year. Jessica White, who is white, began checking into the hotel while Ryan White, who is Native American, parked the car.
Everything was going fine until Ryan arrived, according to the lawsuit.
The Grand Gateway employee stopped processing the White family’s reservation and abruptly told the Whites that they did not have any rooms reserved at the hotel,” the lawsuit states.
“Jessica White attempted to provide the Grand Gateway employee with their confirmation number from Travelocity. The Grand Gateway employee refused to take the confirmation number, look in the hotel’s system for the reservation, or take steps to honor the White family’s reservation.”
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