Casino Queen is scheduled to reopen at 8 a.m. Monday after three disguised men armed with rifles robbed the East St. Louis casino early Sunday morning and shot a New Athens firefighter who was working as a security guard.
The shooting happened about 2:50 a.m. Sunday, according to Illinois State Police. The suspects also robbed a cashier cage on the main casino floor. The men fired multiple shots, according to state police, and struck the guard, who was unarmed.
As of Sunday evening, police were still searching for the men.
No patrons at the casino were injured.
At 10:10 p.m. Sunday, Southern Illinois Fire Incidents confirmed in a Facebook post that the injured security guard is a volunteer firefighter in New Athens.
Facebook posts from the New Athens Fire Department and Southern Illinois Fire Incidents earlier Sunday relayed the shooting of the man, whose identity had not been released as of Sunday evening.
A post from the fire department at 11:51 a.m. Sunday said he was “out of surgery, intubated, and sedated,” and in stable condition.
The man was in stable condition as of Sunday evening and is expected to survive, despite “a long road to recovery,” said ISP Trooper Calvin Dye Jr.
“We are grateful that his injuries do not appear to be life threatening and he is currently listed in stable condition,” a statement from Casino Queen said. “Our thoughts are with him and his family as we all wish him a speedy recovery.”
The security force at the casino is supplemented by armed Illinois Gaming Board officers, according to the press release. These officers helped to evacuate patrons during the robbery.
Casino Queen released the following statement Sunday evening:
“The Illinois State Police and Illinois Gaming Board have authorized the reopening of the Casino Queen following a random armed robbery overnight. It will reopen for business at 8 am tomorrow morning.
“While the investigation continues, our thoughts and prayers continue to be focused on the security guard injured during this very isolated incident, and we are pleased to report that he remains listed in stable condition. We all wish him a speedy recovery.”
Illinois State Police is handling the investigation. Anyone with information can contact state police at 618-346-3990.