Hard Rock Casino Lake Tahoe Sees Fatal Shooting, Suspects in Jail

Posted on: March 25, 2023, 06:51h. 

Last updated on: March 27, 2023, 01:18h.

A man was shot in the head and later passed away following a dispute at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe in Stateline, Nev. on Saturday morning.

Deputies arrive at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe
Deputies arrive at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe in Stateline, Nev., pictured above. A man was shot at the casino, and later died. Two suspects were charged. (Image: CNN)

The victim, identified as Omar Reyes Garcia, 32, was rushed to a nearby hospital. He was pronounced dead soon after arriving for treatment.

Garcia and Edgar Julian Delgado, 24, had gotten into an argument at the casino’s Center Bar. That led Delgado to pull out a firearm and wound Garcia at about 8 a.m., authorities said.

Within hours, Delgado and another suspect were arrested at gunpoint by Eldorado Sheriff’s deputies on a California highway, authorities said.

Delgado and Garcia had been at the Hard Rock since at least 2 a.m. Saturday. The two men first met at the casino bar and spent several hours together before the shooting, Reno TV station KOLO reported.

Delgado was charged with first-degree murder. A second suspect was identified as Savannah Racquel Tautaupale, 26. She was charged with driving under the influence and being an accessory after the fact.

The two suspects were booked at the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office jail in Placerville, Calif. Delgado was being held without bail this weekend. Bail for Tautaupale was $250,000.

The two suspects were arrested in a Toyota Forerunner on Highway 50 near Sierra-at-Tahoe, Calif. Both suspects will face extradition from California to Nevada.

No one else was injured during the shooting.

Casinos on Lockdown

Portions of the gaming property and Highway 50 in both directions were closed temporarily while police searched for the suspects. Each room at the casino was inspected following the shooting.

Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies evacuated the north and Tahoe Towers of the hotel. The casino was placed on lockdown. Guests were ordered to shelter in place.

Also, Dotty’s casino in Stateline temporarily shuttered because of the shooting.

Before driving away from the casino, Delgado went to his hotel room after the shooting to collect personal items. The two suspects then fled.

The shooting initially was reported to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at 8:08 a.m.

The first deputy showed up at the casino three minutes later, California TV station KCRA reported.

At least 50 police officers or deputies eventually responded to the casino.

Hard Rock security guards were able to give the deputies descriptions of the suspects and the vehicle in which they fled. The guards had surveillance video of the suspects.

In a Twitter post, the casino stated at about noon PT, “The Hard Rock has reopened after an incident this morning. Thank you to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies who skillfully handled the challenge and kept all guests and team members safe.”

Prior Murder

In an unrelated incident, a gruesome 2017 killing at the same Hard Rock Hotel & Casino led to the 2019 sentencing of a homeless illegal immigrant to life in prison for second-degree murder.

Jose Rodriquez-Quezada, 45, will serve eight to 20 years — beyond the initial life sentence from Douglas County District Judge Tod Young — for use of a deadly weapon in the bloody crime.

Rodriquez-Quezada was found guilty in the death of the Reno man, Kevin Edwards. The deceased was 56 at the time.