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December 04, 2005
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Shootout at Harrah's Tahoe casino leaves two officers injured

The Associated Press

STATELINE, Nev.- A shootout across a high-stakes card room in Harrah's Tahoe casino killed one man, injured two sheriff's deputies and sent gamblers running for the cover Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

Investigators were still trying to determine who fired first. They were questioning a woman believed to have been with the suspect, a man described as about 50 years old who died at the scene.

"His identity, motive and the manner in which he died are under investigation," Sgt. Tom Mezzetta said. "We're still trying to put the pieces together."

The officers had been investigating a report of a suspicious person at the casino.

Deputy Dan Nelson was shot in the hand and hip, and Deputy Erik Eissinger's bullet-proof vest stopped a bullet to the torso. Hospital officials declined to divulge their conditions, but Mezzetta said the injuries were not life-threatening.

The main casino remained open Saturday evening with only the crime scene cordoned off.

Witnesses said the card area wasn't crowded when the shots rang out around 2 p.m.

"I heard a `pop, pop, pop," Jeff Wren, 23, of Sacramento, Calif., told the Tahoe Daily Tribune. "All I saw was a lot of people running for the door."

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