December 12, 2023 3 min read


Shooting Incident at Washington State’s Lucky Eagle Casino Raises Safety Concerns

A murder suspect was killed by an officer inside the venue, marking yet another new case of armed violence in US casinos

Lucky Eagle Casino found itself embroiled in a fatal shooting incident over the weekend, leading to the temporary closure of the establishment following a harrowing encounter between law enforcement and a murder suspect. This development perpetuates November’s unfortunate trend, as armed violence inside US casinos is becoming a regular occurrence. 

Witness Testimony Revealed Additional Details

The victim, identified as 33-year-old Darren Evans of Yelm by Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock, was fatally shot by a Chehalis tribal police officer at Washington State’s Lucky Eagle Casino. Evans was the subject of a warrant for two counts of first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm in Pierce County. The charges stemmed from a September 2022 incident in Graham, where Evans was wanted for murder.

On Sunday, Chehalis Tribal police and Thurston County Sheriff’s Office personnel received information suggesting Evans was inside the Lucky Eagle Casino. Upon attempting to make contact with Evans, an officer fired shots, resulting in fatal injuries to Evans. Eyewitness Dee Thomas, speaking for KOMO, described Evans running towards the casino exit before the officer discharged his firearm.

I think he tried to get to the front door exit, and then all of a sudden, I see the officer shot him right in the middle of the floor. I didn’t see a direct threat from the man.

Dee Thomas

Authorities have not disclosed the specific circumstances that prompted the officer to fire, nor have they clarified whether Evans was armed or posed a threat to the officer before the shooting. Efforts to save Evans following the shooting were unsuccessful, according to reports from the sheriff’s office. 

Casino Shootings Are Becoming Concerningly Common

Lucky Eagle Casino, operated by the Chehalis Tribe and located near Rochester, about 25 miles southwest of Olympia, announced its temporary closure in response to the tragic event. An establishment representative confirmed it would remain closed until further notice, expressing sorrow over the incident and the necessity of the closure during the ongoing investigation.

This newest shooting represents a concerning trend of armed violence at high-profile gambling venues. November saw a triple homicide near a casino in Robinsonville, MS, and similar reports of homicides related to the gambling industry have become increasingly frequent. While the courts often issue swift judgments regarding such cases, preventative measures remain lacking.

You think you’re going to a public place that’s a safe place, that’s secure, and anything could happen.

Dee Thomas

The rising frequency of such incidents should prompt casino operators to invest more in security, safeguarding consumers and reducing the chances of similar tragedies. Lucky Eagle Casino demonstrates how an unfortunate incident can substantially impact a venue’s bottom line and damage its reputation, justifying some extra expenses.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.


  • Tammy
    December 12, 2023 at 7:21 pm

    This was not handled correctly. The police should of stood down and waited for him to leave and corner him out by the stop sign. It is real hard to get out of there for suspect. This was handled very incorrectly. They are lucky he did not harm others inside the casino. Who ever handled this situation should of considered the possible consequences. Bad training on their part.

  • Rachael
    December 14, 2023 at 7:32 am

    Darren was a close friend of mine. While he went through struggles he didn’t deserve to die. He unfortunately, was accused of a crime wrongfully. This country was built on the principles of freedom . Freedom to have his day in court. To face his accusers and prove his innocence. Darren did not and does not carry or own firearms. When the trigger was pulled that officer took it into his hands to be the judge, juror, and executioner. While he wasn’t your son, brother, uncle, or friend he was to many. Let’s hope next time it’s not someone you care about that meets the same fate. It should alarm you that a man was shot in the back . The casino was full . He was not a threat. The only thing he was guilty of was being in a place that an officer believed he lost his right to live.

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