Suicide victim found with AR-15 inside Las Vegas casino bathroom
A man who died by suicide in a public restroom on the casino floor of the Rio was found with an AR-15 near him and an apparent note addressed to Metro police, according to a Metropolitan Police Department report.
The man, identified as 40-year-old Michael James Robinson, was seen “conducting suspicious activities and displaying odd behaviors” in the hours before his suicide last month, according to a report obtained Thursday afternoon by the Review-Journal.
The Clark County coroner’s office confirmed that Robinson died by suicide with a gunshot wound to the head and that it happened in a casino-floor bathroom.
It’s not known how Robinson brought the gun into the hotel, but a medium-sized suitcase and a bag were found next to his body, according to the police report.
The situation raises questions about hotel security, particularly around firearms, and how the man was able to bring an AR-15 into a major Las Vegas hotel, recalling the questions raised after the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting, where a gunman brought more than a dozen assault rifles into his room and later killed 60 people and injured hundreds.
The report also described an apparent suicide note that was “messaged to LVMPD,” but the contents of the note weren’t detailed in the report. Sections of the report had been redacted, and it wasn’t clear if the apparent suicide note was described in redacted sections of the report.
The report did not explicitly say whether Robinson used the AR-15 to kill himself, only that the gun was found near his body. No other firearms were mentioned in the unredacted sections of the report.
Caesars Entertainment, which operates the Rio, did not respond to requests for comment late Thursday afternoon. Dreamscape Companies, the owner of the hotel, also did not respond to requests for comment.
Spokespersons for the Metropolitan Police Department did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Details from the report
The report said that an officer went into a video surveillance room at the hotel after the suicide and that Robinson was seen going inside the restroom to the right of the main valet entrance at 6:11 until 7:07 a.m.
Robinson was also seen walking around the parking lot and trying random door handles.
“Michael was seen conducting suspicious activities and displaying odd behaviors as walking around in circles with what looked to be having no set destination on where he was heading to,” the report said. “Michael was seen going back inside the hotel heading towards the restroom by Burro Borracho at approximately 7:41 hours.”
According to the report, Metro officers Kyle Nino Aurelio and Dallas Diaz responded about 8:41 a.m. to the hotel, located at 3700 West Flamingo Road just west of Interstate 15, to a report of a suicide attempt in a restroom near the casino cage, where the casino’s cashiers work.
A 58-year-old gaming floor supervisor was in his office across from the men’s restroom when he heard a “suspicious noise of a loud bang sound,” according to the report.
The supervisor peeked outside his office and later told police he didn’t see anything unusual but thought that one of the stall doors banging loudly caused the noise.
He told police he wanted to check it out, so he went to the restroom and saw a “white male adult laying down on the floor inside the last handicap stall.”
Security officers arrived at the bathroom and “noticed a black AR-style rifle on the floor just outside the last stall on the far West of the restroom and noticed a white male adult on the ground,” according to the report.
The report said that the man’s body was found in a handicap stall at the southwest end of the restroom and the stall had its locked engaged.
The report said that a “firearm that looked to be an AR-15 black in color, was on the outside stall with a magazine fully attached to the firearm with its front barrel facing the North wall and buttstock facing the South Wall.”
At the back of the toilet seat, there was concrete debris and above it, a bullet hole. A medium-sized suitcase with its handle extended out was found to the left of the toilet.
The report said a “black back” was found “with its big zipper pocket half opened with a paper messaged to LVMPD. Upon closer observation on the white paper sticking out of the black back appeared to be a suicide note.”
If you’re thinking about suicide, or are worried about a friend or loved one, help is available 24/7 by calling or texting the Lifeline network at 988. Live chat is available at 988lifeline.org.