Spanish Gambling Venues Turn Into Crime Scenes After Armed Attacks

Monday got off to a bad start for a couple of gambling venues in Spain. The clock had only just barely marked the beginning of a new day when they were already facing criminal activity that left one person dead.

A Spanish National Police van arrives at a courthouse in Madrid as officers stand guard. The police are busy investigating two separate incidents involving gambling properties, one of which left an employee dead. (Image: Voice of America)

There were two serious incidents that took place in the early hours of Monday morning in different parts of the country. One involved an attempted robbery of a gambling property, while the second targeted a player who had just won a small fortune.

The two incidents are completely unrelated. One occurred in the northern community of Tarragona, while the second happened hundreds of miles to the south in the city of Granada.

Spinning Wheels Turn Into Assault

In Granada, police are now on the scent of armed robbers following an assault at approximately 2 a.m. Monday.

A gambler won €7,000 (US$6,975) playing roulette and, as he began to leave, his world turned upside down. As he walked out of the unidentified casino, two criminals who had been watching the action at the roulette table, launched into action. They jumped the man, robbing him of the money, his cell phone, and other personal belongings.

The unidentified victim initially fought back, however, one of the attackers had a pistol, which he used to beat his victim. As a result, the man received serious injuries that required treatment at a local hospital.

Although the robbers were able to escape, they might not get too far. Investigators say surveillance footage from inside the casino captured their images, which are now under review to determine the crooks’ identities.

Bingo Night Turns Deadly

Also on Monday, an attempted robbery of a bingo hall in the town of Tortosa in Tarragona left one employee dead and another person injured. The events occurred shortly after midnight when a group of two or three men broke into the premises. They began shooting, first hitting a customer and then, as they made their escape, the employee, according to Spanish media outlet ABC.

The employee, who suffered critical injuries, and the other person were transferred to a hospital in the municipality. There, the employee, who was reportedly shot at least once in the head, died a few hours later. The other victim, for his part, received serious injuries to his back, although he is now in recovery.

The identities of the alleged assailants are unknown. They robbed the bingo hall, which usually closes at 1 a.m., shortly before it ended operations for the day.

As in the other case, security footage will be important in unmasking the perpetrators. Police have footage from the property and from the surrounding area that are now searching for clues.

Police haven’t revealed the names of the victims, in part because they’re still conducting an active investigation. Releasing the names could put the survivor and the families of both individuals at risk.

The initial theory is that this was a botched robbery. However, the swiftness of the attack with no attempt to take cash is causing confusion. Therefore, police aren’t willing to release any details other than what the media already know.

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