Washington State Deputies Seek Tribal Casino Shooting Suspect

Posted on: October 8, 2021, 04:04h. 

Last updated on: October 8, 2021, 01:00h.

The Yakima County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a suspect after a shooting earlier this week at Washington State’s Legends Casino Hotel.

Buddy Byron McKenzie
Buddy Byron McKenzie, pictured in a mugshot above. He was identified as a possible suspect in a shooting at Washington State’s Legends Casino Hotel. (Image: Yakima County Sheriff’s Office)

He was identified on Thursday as Buddy Byron McKenzie, 41, according to the sheriff’s office Facebook. He is wanted for questioning in connection with Monday’s shooting of an unnamed woman in the parking lot at the gaming property.

Several posters on social media claim he is the victim’s ex-boyfriend.

The wounded woman initially was spotted by casino security guards. They notified local deputies.

Head, Torso Wounds

She was shot in her head and torso. Deputies provided first aid until EMTs arrived. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Her medical condition was unknown as of late this week, the Yakima Herald-Republic, a local newspaper, reported.

Earlier, the victim rejected McKenzie following a relationship, apparently leading to the shooting, it was revealed by a poster on Facebook. The victim is the mother of children, the post adds.

The casino is located on the Yakama Indian Reservation in Toppenish. It is about 162 miles southeast of Seattle.

Washington State Casino Violence

In an unrelated incident, a 35-year-old Washington State man was charged with second-degree domestic violence murder for the October 2020 death of a 33-year-year woman in a parking lot outside the Tulalip Resort Casino in Tulalip, Wash.

Prosecutors say Nomeneta Tauave got into a fight with his girlfriend Hana Letoi on Oct. 23. The couple started a screaming match inside the casino, and it continued outside to their GMC Yukon in the parking lot. Security officers say the altercation turned violent, with Tauave allegedly punching and shaking Letoi violently. She fell out of the SUV as he sped off, eyewitnesses stated. Letoi was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center where she died two days later.

In a July incident, a California man was sentenced to 33 months in prison for allegedly trying to steal money from Washington State’s ilani Casino at knifepoint and robbing a local bank.

Viet Tan Nguyen, 35, was sentenced for both crimes. He pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery for the May 17 Chase Bank heist, according to The Columbian, a newspaper in Washington State. Nguyen pled guilty to second-degree assault and first-degree attempted theft in the May gaming property incident.