A beloved casino employee died after being shot inside the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Wednesday afternoon. The suspect, a regular at the casino, was upset about his losses and took out his anger out on Ray Kot.
Kot, a shift manager and "Day One" worker who'd been with the gaming hall since it opened in 1990, was shot around 3:30 p.m. in a storage room just off the gaming floor. It's not visible to the public, but people on the casino floor did hear three gunshots.
"He was the loveliest human being you ever want to meet," said Mark Juliano, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts, which runs the casino. "He didn't have an enemy in the world."
Kot, who lived in Egg Harbor Township, was rushed to nearby AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in critical condition and later died.
The suspect, Mark Magee of Norristown, Pa., was arrested minutes after the shooting in the casino's garage. He allegedly calmly walked out of the casino after using illegal hollow-nose bullets to shoot Kot.
Juliano said that Magee was carrying a suicide note and had intended to shoot himself or jump from the parking garage Wednesday afternoon but surrendered meekly when police apprehended him.
"It's too bad he didn't do it first," Juliano said. "He was obviously an extremely disturbed, sick individual."
Magee, 57, knew Kot from his previous visits to the Taj. He sent a letter to WPVI-TV two days before the shooting alleging that the casino had been cheating him for years. Police and the station chose not to release either letters.
Casino officials shut down table games for the night and sent workers assigned to that area home. Gaming in the rest of the casino continued.
Juliano and other executives from Trump Entertainment Resorts were in talks with another company about the sale of another property, the Trump Marina Casino, when they found out about the shooting. Because of the recent Chapter 11 filing, the company has a Thursday deadline to unload the Trump Marina, according to Philly.com.
It's the second incident this year involving gunfire. In January, a suspect in a New York embezzlement case pulled a gun and threatened to kill himself in an office there. He accidentally fired a shot during an 11-hour standoff before surrendering to police, according to the Inquirer report.