January 24, 2024 3 min read

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Canada: Casino Employee Accused of Helping Gang in Fatal Home Invasion

The employee allegedly tipped gang members who attempted to rob the victim but killed him instead

A criminal case against one gang member who participated in an attempted robbery that turned into murder gained traction earlier this week. The incident dates back to October 2019 when Ryan Gatzke, 27, was fatally shot and killed in his home by three members of a gang known as the “Terror Squad.”

On Monday this week, a filing with the case in North Battleford Provincial Court in Saskatchewan, Canada, from April 2021 was released to the public, revealing that the gang members were allegedly tipped by a casino worker that Gatzke had money in his home, as announced by Sask Today.

Additionally, on Monday this week, the youngest gang member, who was 17 at the time of the crime, agreed to be sentenced as an adult. Another three Terror Squad members were apprehended and sentenced for Gatzke’s murder already. The list includes Charles McLean, the gang’s getaway driver who pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced in March 2022 to four years in prison.

On the other hand, Isaac Melco, another gang member pleaded guilty to manslaughter as well and received 12 years in prison back in February 2023. Similarly, Jacob Ballantyne, the third gang member who was involved in the bloody crime also pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years in prison back in June.

According to the April 2021 filing, which was recently made public, the gang members were told that Gatzke had money and drugs by a person who worked at a casino the victim visited earlier on the night of the incident. Prior to attempting to rob the victim, the Terror Squad members were given approval from senior members of the gang.

A Robbery Turns into Bloody Murder

The aforementioned incident dates back to October 18, 2019. At the time, Gatzke, together with his wife, visited a casino in North Battleford. Senior Crown Prosecutor Jennifer Schmidt revealed Monday that the couple won some money at the casino. “Not a large sum but some money,” she explained, outlining the two had a “fairly good night.” The victim and his wife had dinner as well as drinks before heading home.

Later on the same night, Gatzke’s home was invaded by Melco, Ballantyne and the third gang member whose name was not disclosed since he was 17 years old at the time. Gatzke and his wife were in bed when they were surprised by the three gang members who consumed a lot of alcohol, drugs and were wearing face masks.

The youngest culprit held a shotgun, Ballantyne was equipped with a 9mm handgun while Melco carried an SKS rifle. After an altercation with the victim, a total of three shots were fired. Gatzke was shot twice, while one bullet hit the bedroom ceiling. One of the shots severed the victim’s artery which was a lethal injury.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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