Mississippi police are on the hunt for two suspects in last week’s deadly shooting at the Scarlet Pearl Casino. A stolen car connected to the crime was located in nearby Alabama. It had been set ablaze.
The dark blue Nissan Altima caught the attention of police after it was seen in a surveillance video at the D’Iberville, Miss. gaming venue around the time of Wednesday’s fatal shooting.
Later in the week, it was discovered at an apartment complex in Prichard, Ala. The car was described as being destroyed by the fire, WXXV, a local TV station, reported.
It was early on Wednesday morning that Nicholaus Craig, 36, was fatally wounded while in a rental car parked in a lot across from the casino.
Craig and a girlfriend were staying at a casino hotel to celebrate his birthday, the report said. The couple ate dinner Tuesday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Later in the night his back was uncomfortable due to recent surgery, so he was planning to go for a ride at about 2 am. But while in the car, he was shot once.
Craig was from Mobile, Ala., and recently was living in California, Harrison County Coroner Brian Switzer told WCBI, a local TV station. He had stopped in Mississippi on his way to visit his parents in Mobile.
Comments on Shooting
“We pride ourselves in people coming to visit our community to feel safe,” D’Iberville Police Chief Shannon Nobles was quoted by WLOX, another local TV station.
“This gentleman was not able to sit in his car and mind his own business without losing his life.”
An autopsy was performed on Thursday. Police have not revealed an official motive for the apparent murder.
“Right now, what we think is it’s a random act of violence and that this gentleman, the victim, was just minding his own business and appears to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Nobles told WALA, another local station. “It may be a botched robbery attempt or a botched carjacking attempt.”
A spokesperson for the Scarlet Pearl Casino further told WLOX, “Our thoughts are with the families impacted by this incident.”
No additional comments will be made by the casino until the D’Iberville Police Department completes its investigation.
In an unrelated incident, a man who allegedly attacked his girlfriend at a casino after suffering multiple gambling losses was sentenced in August to 15 years in prison.
Loser at Casino
Christopher Neal McAlister, 45, of Hattiesburg, Miss., was sentenced to 45 years for the crime by Hancock County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Dodson. Thirty years of the sentence will be suspended if he successfully completes the 15-year term.
In May 2020, he lost the money at the Scarlet Pearl Casino. McAlister then attacked the woman with him. He was charged with domestic violence and aggravated assault, the Sun Herald, a Biloxi, Miss. newspaper, said.
He was previously convicted three times for domestic violence in 2008, the newspaper reported.
Over the summer, it also was reported that Mississippi casino revenue last year totaled $2.669 billion. That is the state gaming industry’s highest haul in more than a decade.
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