BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - A relaxing day turned into chaos after a gunshot was heard inside the Treasure Bay Casino late Friday night. People were ducking for cover, frightened and confused. However, an eyewitness described people literally running out of their shoes to find safety, and it was all caught on camera.
Jeremy Pellegrin had just won playing a table game at Treasure Bay Casino late Friday night.
“It was a normal night,” said Pellegrin. “And, everybody was having a good time. I was playing the table game roulette. I just hear a loud pop.”
At first, he said it wasn’t clear that the sound was from a gun, but people scrambled for cover.
Pellegrin pulled out his phone and began recording.
“Nobody knew what to do, which way to run, where to go,” he said. “Everybody pointing in different directions. It was a chaotic scene.”
He described strange evidence of the scramble to safety.
“There were several flip-flops and slides that you could tell someone was running,” said Pellegrin. “There was one here, one there, one there, one there. And you could tell they were not the same pair. It seems like in the chaos the last thing you were thinking about was grabbing your flip-flops or, most likely, running out of them.”
Biloxi Police responded to the scene.
“The Biloxi PD showed up extremely fast,” Pellegrin said. “And when they showed up, I think they decided to clear the casino out.”
Treasure Bay CEO Susan Varnes confirmed that a weapon accidentally discharged in a guest’s pocket, even though weapons are not allowed in casinos.
In a statement, she added:
“No other guests or crew were involved or injured, and the Biloxi Police Department responded quickly. We are grateful that no one was hurt and proud that our crew handled the situation professionally, clearing the casino floor quickly until the matter could be investigated, making sure no one was in danger.”
Police said the man was identified and charged with discharging a firearm in the city limits.
Pellegrin initially squatted under the table with the dealers, but he was compelled to document the scene.
“It was scary. It was. In these situations, I turn my camera on quick, because you never know what could happen,” Pellegrin. “And, I definitely wanted to make sure that if anything crazy did happen, that people got to see what was really going on inside.”
He has been able to look back at the footage several times since the incident, and Pellegrin keeps thinking of one thing.
“How much worse this could have been,” said Pellegrin.