Venetian picnic shooter Anthony Wrobel, the casino employee who is reported to have killed one of his bosses and critically injured another, remains on the lam more than 24 hours after the Sunday evening close-range shooting in Las Vegas’ Sunset Park. The apparently targeted attack ended the life of Las Vegas Sands VP of Casino Operations, Mia Banks.
While his whereabouts remain unknown, details are emerging as to what may have motivated the Venetian employee to carry out the attack.
The deceased has been identified as 54-year-old Mia Banks, LVS Corporation’s vice president of casino operations. Hector Rodriguez, LVS executive director of table games, was also shot, and remains in critical condition at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas.
Coworkers talking with local TV station FOX5 expressed no surprise when they learned Wrobel was the suspect.
“We all knew he was crazy. It wasn’t a matter of if he would, it was when,” a female employee — who didn’t want to be named — said. “My first thought was like, ‘oh, my God … horrible,’ but I hate to say it, no one was surprised that he did it because he literally complained about management every single day.”
Metro Police said Wrobel has been working as a table games dealer at The Venetian since 2004.
Coworkers revealed that reduced salaries might be the motivation for Wrobel’s attack.
“The dealers, we used to make $30,000 more per year, and he felt like with all of the decisions that management made, upper management, that was the reason why we no longer made the money we made,” one worker told FOX5.
The worker did not specify how or why such drastic pay reductions have occurred. There are, however, fewer table games (including craps, blackjack, roulette, poker, and baccarat) in Clark County casinos today than there were a decade ago. In 2007, Las Vegas casinos had more than 5,500 table games. Last year, that number had fallen to 4,906, an 11 percent reduction.
Witnesses to the Sunday shooting say Wrobel didn’t say a word as he approached the picnic table where Banks and Rodriguez sat together.
Anthony Wrobel left Sunset Park in a black and purple Dodge Charger. That vehicle was later found at McCarran International Airport, which is minutes away from the park.
Police haven’t said whether they believe Wrobel managed to skip town, or if they think he merely switched vehicles at the airport and took off. Metro has stated it believes the shooting to be an isolated incident, and the victims to have been specifically targeted by the dealer.
Early Monday morning, police tossed flash bangs (non-lethal stun grenades that temporarily disorient a target’s senses with light flashes and high-decibel sounds) into Wrobel’s apartment. He wasn’t inside. But retired Metro detective Phil Ramos told Las Vegas news station KSNV that if he’s still alive, Wrobel’s time on the run is limited.
“They know right now if he had taken a flight and is in another city.” Ramos explained. “If this was a ruse and he just left that car … and left from that parking lot … that’s also something they’ll be looking at and that might make him a little more difficult to find.
“He knows the cops are hot on his trail and there’s no way he’s going to get away with this,” the detective concluded.
Chances are that Ramos is correct. Numerous law enforcement agencies — including police in the tri-states surrounding Nevada, as well as the US Marshals Service, FBI, and ATF — are all now involved with the search for Wrobel.