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Chile – Guard shot during attack on Sun Monticello

By - 11 June 2017

A guard on the duty at the Sun Monticello casino has been shot and wounded after a failed robbery.

According to police the incident occurred during the early hours of the morning after the man identified as Stiven Mi Abuamsha (40), began shooting into the air in the main gaming room of the casino located in San Francisco de Mostazal, around 50 kilometres from the Chilean capital.

Investigators say that Abuamsha entered the casino via an unguarded entrance and then set fire to a rug in the VIP area in order to draw the attention of security guards away from the main gaming room. He then entered the casino with his face covered and fired a shot into the air and began to grab some chips from a blackjack table and from other players. When security guards tried to overpower him he shot in the air wounding one of them.

The guard was rushed to hospital where he is now reported to be in stable condition. A witness said that he “pulled out a weapon, went crazy and shot wounding a guard.” According to witnesses the man fired four to five shots in the air which has been confirmed by local police officers.

Defence lawyer Eduardo Navia said that he “is not a person who is in his right mind. He had lost approximately 15 million pesos in less than a week . . . What he tried to take was not money, it was chips. Within his mentality, what he wanted was to keep on playing to get the money he understands the casino took away from him.” Navia said that his client, who is Palestinian but has permanent residency in Chile, was suffering from an undiagnosed gambling addition and had lost 15 million pesos (around US$22 thousand) over the last week. At the time of his arrest he was carrying two guns.

Chief prosecutor, Nayalet Mansilla, has brought formal charges against the accused including arson, robbery with violence resulting in serious injuries, illegal possession of firearms and possession of sharp weapons. At the hearing, Abuamsha said that the money had been sent to him by his family so he could return to Palestine. However in a public statement signed by General Manager of the casino, Manuel Rojas the casino said it was satisfied that Abuamsha had been put under custody as he awaited trial as he clearly posed a danger to the public. In addition the casino refuted the defence saying that his statements are unsupported as in his last visits to the casino he had gambled less than $400 thousand (around US$600) via slot machines on the premises.

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