Employees shot at Las Vegas picnic ‘part of the fabric’ of Venetian

Updated April 17, 2018 - 6:43 pm

The Venetian employees shot at a company picnic Sunday had worked at the hotel-casino since its 1999 opening and were “part of the fabric” of the property, according to its operator.

Mia Banks, the 54-year-old vice president of casino operations, died of gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Hector Rodriguez, executive director of table games at The Venetian, was wounded in the shooting and remained hospitalized Tuesday in stable condition at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

The resort’s parent company, Las Vegas Sands Corp., is offering $50,000 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the shooting suspect.

Police called the shooting, which happened shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday at Sunset Park, 2601 E. Sunset Road, a targeted act of workplace violence.

“He had planned his attack and targeted his victims,” Metropolitan Police Department homicide Capt. Robert Plummer said Tuesday of the suspect, 42-year-old Anthony Wrobel. Police said the 15-year employee was described as disgruntled.

Metro assigned more officers to patrol The Venetian after the shooting, police spokesman Jay Rivera said.

“Mia and Hector have been part of the fabric of The Venetian since our opening,” Las Vegas Sands said in statement Tuesday. “They have demonstrated the very best of The Venetian and the Palazzo as leaders and as members of our Las Vegas community.”

Banks’ family could not be reached Tuesday.

Armed and dangerous

A multiagency manhunt continued Tuesday for Wrobel, described as a 5-foot-9 white man weighing about 197 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes and had a beard and mustache.

Investigators said that Wrobel walked up to a table where the two victims were sitting and fired at close range before fleeing in a black and purple Dodge Charger. Shortly after the shooting, police found the car parked at McCarran International Airport. Police do not believe Wrobel boarded a flight, but Plummer said investigators have not ruled out the possibility.

As of Tuesday, his whereabouts were unknown, police said.

“To anyone out there who is listening and has information about this case or who can help solve this case, we urge you to come forward,” Plummer said. “Do it for Mia Banks and the other victim in this case.”

Wrobel is considered armed and extremely dangerous. Plummer warned the public Tuesday to avoid approaching Wrobel if he is seen and to instead call 911 immediately.

Feds join manhunt

Federal investigators from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals Service are helping Las Vegas police.

Jose Perez, supervisory special agent at the FBI’s Las Vegas field office, said investigators are looking into filing a federal arrest warrant if Wrobel fled the state.

“We’re bringing all the resources that the FBI has to bear into this investigation,” Perez said.

North Las Vegas and Henderson police also joined the search, and enforcement agencies in California, Utah and Arizona have been notified.

Anyone with information should call Metro at 702-828-3521, or Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 to remain anonymous.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Blake Apgar contributed to this report.

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