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Man fired from gaming commission in San Diego County kills ex-coworker, takes his own life

December 29, 2009 |  4:26 pm

Kvftnnnc An employee fired last month from the gaming commission that runs the Barona Casino in eastern San Diego County stormed into the commission's office Tuesday morning and killed an employee before committing suicide, officials said.

The gunman was identified as Donell Roberts, 38, of El Cajon, who was fired in November as an investigator for the commission. The victim was not identified, pending notification of his family.

Roberts, armed with a shotgun, barged into the office of the commission manager about 10 a.m. and ordered three secretaries to flee. Three gunshots were heard.

Within hours, San Diego County Sheriff's Department SWAT officers had surrounded the commission building. After attempts to contact Roberts failed, a remote-controlled robot was sent to peer into the office. Two bodies were spotted.

The commission runs the casino in rural Lakeside, east of San Diego. Casino operations were briefly curtailed as patrons were blocked from using one entrance. The casino and the commission building are in separate areas of the sprawling reservation.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Barona Casino workers stand outside an employment center and watch as San Diego County Sheriffs officials investigate the shooting in a nearby gaming commission building. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times