Law enforcement sources said Tuesday's murder-suicide at the Barona tribal resort apparently was triggered by Donnell Roberts' rage over a bad performance review that spoiled his chances at another job.
That review was written by the victim, who was identified Wednesday as Raymundo Casillas, 43.
According to sheriff's department sources, Roberts applied for work at another tribal casino after being fired as a gaming compliance officer at Barona, but he was turned down because of the review he got from Casillas, his former supervisor.
It was a tense scene for several hours on Tuesday as law enforcement swarmed the Barona Casino and Resort complex where the 38-year-old Roberts had hastily parked his truck and burst into the tribal gaming commission office with a shotgun. He scared away three secretaries before killing Casillas, the commission's executive director.
"He was a professional," said Rick Salinas, a manager at Barona Casino. "He did his job, and he did it well, from my understanding. I don't have any information on why he was fired, but my interactions with him were positive."
But Roberts, who lived in an El Cajon apartment unit where a suicide note and shotgun shells were found, had a laundry list of financial problems and domestic lawsuits involving his seven children.
An ex-wife of Roberts said he was chronically unhappy, the son of a cop who committed suicide early in Roberts' life.
Barona colleagues apparently didn't sense that.
"Friendly, very friendly -- know what I mean?" said Henry Alvarez, a groundskeeper at Barona Resort.
Casillas lived in a La Mesa apartment complex and had recently marked his first anniversary heading up Barona's gaming commission. His former employers at tribal casinos in Arizona, whose gaming commissions he had run for the previous eight years, extended condolences to Casillas' family, which is still living in Tucson and to the trial community at Barona.
"He took care of his family, financially, emotionally, even though he worked in California,"said the victim's stepdaughter Jessica Lopez. "It's a complete shock, totally unexpected."
Lopez said her stepfather moved to San Diego for the Barona Gaming Commission job. She said the sudden death has been especially traumatic for Casillas' 9-year-old son, Ray Jr.
"He took it pretty pretty hard last night, when my mom told him," said Lopez.
The Barona Gaming commission issued a statement Wednesday, saying, in part:
"This is a very difficult time for the Barona family and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of this unimaginable tragedy.... We are saddened over the loss of Raymundo Casillas, who was killed yesterday in his office at the Barona Tribal Gaming Commission."