Venetian Las Vegas Sued by Man Wounded During Casino Confrontation
Posted on: January 19, 2023, 02:50h.
Last updated on: January 19, 2023, 03:56h.
A man who was shot a year ago during an altercation at the Venetian Las Vegas recently filed a lawsuit against the casino and its security guards for alleged negligence and emotional distress.
The legal action was filed last week and seeks more than $50K in damages. It claims security guards didn’t protect visitors when a gunman shot and wounded one man in the group, KLAS, a local TV station, reported.
The wounded man, identified as Eric Aguilar, underwent several leg surgeries as a result of the Jan. 18, 2021, shooting.
The incident began as a dispute in the Palazzo Casino, which is located in the Venetian. Aguilar was with friends celebrating his birthday. Someone in Aguilar’s group commented on a person who was wearing a San Francisco 49s shirt. That person was with a second group.
“Without warning, the gunman began to verbally engage Mr. Aguilar’s group, stating that he would ‘[expletive] kill’ Mr. Aguilar and his friends,” the lawsuit said, KLAS reported.
The armed man left the immediate area but remained at the casino. Casino security guards ordered Aguilar and others in his group to leave, the lawsuit said.
Upon hearing Mr. Aguilar report that the gunman had threatened him with a handgun on the gaming floor, one of the Venetian defendants’ three uniformed security guards said that they did not ‘give [an] [expletive] that the gunman had pointed a gun at him and told Mr. Aguilar to leave,” the lawsuit said, KLAS reported.
The guards failed to take a statement from Aguilar and didn’t try to locate the armed man, the lawsuit said. Aguilar and his friends later went outside of the casino where they saw the armed gunman and a second man.
Aguilar and others threw beer bottles at the duo, police said. The group was acting in self-defense against the armed man and his friend, the lawsuit claims.
“Mr. Aguilar, acting purely in self-defense, reached for the gunman to disable him and wrest the handgun away from him. At that moment, Mr. Aguilar dropped his cell phone and the beer bottle also slipped from his hands as he fought for his life against the gunman,” the lawsuit said.
Wounded in Groin
Aguilar was shot in the groin, the lawsuit added. Aguilar was able to wrestle the pistol away from his assailant and struck the man with the firearm, police claimed.
Initially, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officers responding to the confrontation thought Aguilar was the gunman since he was holding the pistol, KLAS said. Two officers aimed their firearms at Aguilar, the lawsuit said.
Aguilar, a friend, and the gunman were indicted for the confrontation. Aguilar has pleaded not guilty and his criminal trial is scheduled to begin on January 30.
The gunman was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and other weapons-related counts, KLAS said.
Aguilar’s attorneys claim in the separate civil lawsuit that the Venetian and its guards failed to act properly.
Casino Failed to Protect Plaintiff
“The … Venetian defendants and at least three of their security guards sat on their hands, watched the scene unfold on their video surveillance system, and did absolutely nothing to protect Mr. Aguilar,” the lawsuit alleged.
Fortunately, law enforcement did not mistakenly shoot and kill Mr. Aguilar, but the Venetian defendants’ callous acts and negligence put Mr. Aguilar in harm’s way for a third time, this time by not reporting the gunman and the incident on the gaming floor to law enforcement at the time it happened,” the lawsuit added.
It was also revealed some Venetian workers gave initial treatment to Aguilar after he was shot and before EMTs eventually arrived. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was initially in critical condition.
The Venetian told KLAS it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
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