On Monday, at approximately 5:45AM, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police arrived to the scene of a shooting at Drai’s Afterhours. Drai’s is an after-hours nightclub in the Bally’s Hotel and Casino, located on the Las Vegas Strip. The shooting ensued after an argument occurred between the gunman and the nightclub’s manager over a refund of the $30 cover charge. The suspect then pulled out a gun and began firing. Initially, three people attempted to stop the gunman from firing any more shots, which resulted in the injuries of two employees and the death of one patron. The patron has not been identified, but is seen as a “Good Samaritan” and hero, who was shot multiple times during a struggle with the gunman. “Security professionals and a heroic patron who lost his life prevented what could have been even more death and injury,” said Clark County Sheriff, Doug Gillespie.
The club manager and security guard were both rushed to University Medical Center for treatment. The suspect was then tackled by more security guards and patrons before being taken into custody. All nightclub guests were immediately evacuated.
Bally’s Hotel and Casino, as well as Drai’s Nightclub, is cooperating with the investigation and released a statement. “Drai’s After Hours and Bally’s Las Vegas extend deepest sympathies to those injured by the shooter.”
The suspect is identified as 41-year old former convict, Benjamin Frazier, who has a history of alcohol-related arrests and violence. He was also involved in a previous incident at a Las Vegas nightclub in June of 1996, where he was convicted of an assault with a deadly weapon charge after his plea deal and issued two years of probation, community service, and impulse control classes. According to Gillespie, Frazier was also taken to University Medical Center due to a serious head injury that he received when apprehended. Once treated, he will be booked at Clark County jail, with an initial court appearance on murder and attempted murder charges.
“The person is in custody. The weapon is in custody. There are no outstanding suspects in this incident,” said Sergeant John Sheahan. Bob Beckett, an attorney, and Vicki Greco, a lawyer, both represented Frazier in the past and are still gathering information about the shooting. Beckett and Greco represented Frazier in a recent drunk-driving conviction and a misdemeanor battery conviction in 2012.
The Las Vegas Convention and Vistors Authority issued this statement: “The LVCVA, Las Vegas resorts and law enforcement agencies work closely to maintain a safe and secure experience for our visitors and residents. Las Vegas is among the safest travel destinations in the world and utilizes the most advanced training and technology to maintain a secure environment, including thirty-seven new surveillance cameras that the Metropolitan Police Department recently installed in the resort corridor to assist in monitoring safety and security.”
Image via Wikimedia Commons