Three days after closing down its doors for patrons after a tragic shooting that took the life of a security guard, Pickering Casino Resort has now restarted operations. The operator of the property, Great Canadian Entertainment reopened the site on Thursday, October 12, 2023, at 10 a.m. Meanwhile, police are still looking for the men and women responsible for the incident.
On Thanksgiving, Monday, October 9, 2023, local police authorities answered a call and arrived at the casino at 5:05 after shots were fired in the resort. Upon arrival, they found a security guard with gunshot wounds. But despite rushing the 34-year-old Michael Ferdinand to the hospital, the security officer passed away from his injuries.
Speaking on behalf of Great Canadian Entertainment spokesperson Chuck Keeling said the corporation is heartbroken after this fatal incident. He said that the company’s thoughts are with the deceased’s family at this difficult time and that they have been in touch with Mr. Ferdinand’s ones to extend condolences and try to help them in such time.
The representative also shared that staff members of the casino property received paid time off so they could express their grief, sorrow, anger, or any other emotion deriving from this senseless act. Mr. Ferdinand’s colleagues organized a vigil in his honour. Additionally, employees were invited to the property to speak with counsellors, spend time with coworkers, or simply return to the site without any guests or expectations.
In the meantime, the investigation is underway, but the police have not provided a new update on the investigation or the wanted suspects. Durham regional chair and chief executive officer John Henry released a statement expressing his condolences to the family of the security guard. He added that the police’s thoughts are with the family friends, and coworkers at the casino.
Police are urging anyone who was present during the time of the shooting at the gaming hall and may have any information to contact them. They also ask for any cellphone video or dashcam footage to be provided to them as it may help the investigation. Anyone who has some new information on the incident is asked to contact the authorities.
Opened in July 2021
Pickering Casino Resort is a rather new gaming facility in Ontario which first launched operations on July 26, 2021. After years of development, the property finally commenced work, however, at the time of its debut worked at a limited capacity. This was due to the provincial health measures at the time, implemented to stop the spread of the unprecedented situation.
But as mentioned, the gaming resort did not open with its full list of amenities, as its hotel opened in January this year. The multi-million Pickering Casino Resort Hotel boasts over 275 premium guest rooms ranging from 388 square feet to 775 square feet. There are also 33 luxurious and spacious suites equipped with separate living spaces and 22 accessible rooms with convenient adjustments.
Source: Calis, Kristen “Pickering Casino Resort to reopen today, 3 days after shooting death of Michael Ferdinand” Durham Region, October 12, 2023