Attempted Heist at Colombian Casino Leaves One Cop, Two Crooks Dead

An attack on a local casino in a small town in Colombia last Friday claimed three lives. Three robbers tried to pull off a heist of the property in the early-morning hours, but a shootout with police left two dead. Unfortunately, it also claimed the life of one of the officers.

Colombian police search a suspect on the streets
Colombian police search a suspect on the streets. Thieves who attacked a casino in Bogotá killed an officer in a gunfight that also left two attackers dead. (Image: Colombian National Police)

In the northwest of Bogotá, at around 2 AM last Friday, the crooks had launched their plan, forcing their way into the casino to rob it and anyone there. However, they weren’t expecting an immediate response from the police, who quickly arrived on the scene.

Media outlet Noticias Caracol reports that uniformed officers from the local police station received an alert call from the community about the robbery. However, their arrival was met with gunfire that led to the deadly encounter.

Deadly Toll

Local video footage showed the carnage and mayhem that ensued. One of them provides clear evidence of the moment the police officers arrived to deal with the theft, and the thieves opened fire.

Perhaps initially believing the situation could be diffused without violence, 29-year-old patrolman Víctor Torres Pulido got out of his vehicle and approached the casino. The nine-year veteran was not brandishing his sidearm, but the thieves opened fire and killed him.

The other police officers returned fire, killing two of the suspects. Police identified one of the dead thieves as Óscar Javier Zea Camelo. He was no stranger to law enforcement, as he had a rap sheet that includes homicide, violence against a public servant and theft.

Marcos García, the other assailant, was barely 16 years old but was a familiar face in police circles, as well. Despite his young age, he already had a record for homicide, theft, trafficking, manufacturing and possession of narcotics.

Although the third managed to escape, police have an idea of who he might be. They’re keeping the details under wraps, but have said that they know he is 27 years old. The Bogotá Metropolitan Police is offering a reward of up to COP20 million (US$4,074) for information that could help them locate and arrest him.

Casino Violence Continues

Colombia has seen its share of violence at casinos and this latest incident follows an attack that occurred last month. A shooting inside a casino in the center of Soledad, in the metropolitan area of ​​Barranquilla, in January left two dead and one injured.

A video shows the man, wearing a sweater, black shorts and a red cap, breaking into the place and opening fire. The gunman’s cold-blooded spirit becomes more evident when he turns and finishes off one of the wounded on the floor.

The result of this attack, which didn’t appear to be motivated by robbery, according to police, was the death at the scene of one of the patrons. A second man was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, but later died from his injuries.

A third received injuries, but survived. Police are still trying to find the attacker and identify a motive.