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Oneida Nation ‘heartbroken’ as officials discuss impact of shooting

Published: May. 2, 2021 at 2:07 PM CDT
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ONEIDA, Wis. (WBAY) - Members of the Oneida Nation held a news conference early Sunday evening at Norbert Hill Center to discuss the impact of the shooting Saturday night at the Duck Creek Bar and Grill, located inside the Radisson at the Oneida Casino complex.

Among those who spoke included Tehassi Hill, the Chairman of Oneida Nation, Brandon Stevens, Vice Chairman, Louise Cornelius, the Gaming General Manager and Steve Ninham, the Radisson General Manager.

“All of us at Oneida Casino are heartbroken for the families and friends of those affected by this horrific event,” said Louise Cornelius, Gaming General Manager.

Oneida Nation officials were heartbroken as they said 150 to 200 employees were working when hots rand out inside of the Radisson. Officials thanked the police and employees who responded quickly to the shooting.

“A big thank you to all the multi-jurisdictional police response to this incident, we understand they were, the police force was quickly on-site,” said Chairman Thassi Hill.

“We want to thank our security, our employees for the quick and proficient evacuation and implementation of our plan safety protocols that we have in place,” said Louise Cornelius.

Chairman Hill states that their top priority is to take care of their employee’s physical, mental, and spiritual health; as well as their safety. To help them cope with this tragic event, internal counselors will be on-site for employees starting Monday morning. No appointment is necessary and they will provide these resources for as long as needed.

As Action 2 News has been reporting, multiple state and local agencies are investigating the shooting, and is an ongoing investigation which is why Oneida Nation officials didn’t touch on anything regarding the investigation itself. Although Vice-Chairman Stevens’ says for the last several years they have been doing an active shooter training program with ALICE in all of their facilities and will be analyzing their own response to what happened on Saturday evening.

“We need to work and continue to work together on incidents and to prevent the incidents like this from ever happening so we’re going to do a preparedness analysis after this is all done making sure this is the best thing that could have happened in a response,” said Stevens.

Although the issues surrounding the impact of the shooting will be discussed, leaders say the details of the shooting itself will be released later by the Department of Criminal Investigation.

Saturday evening, a gunman opened fire and killed two people, and seriously injuring another person before he was killed by police.

“This is a horrible event, during an already difficult year due to the pandemic, we appreciate the support of law enforcement and our community. And we will get through this, together,” said Cornelius.

Law enforcement agencies are still looking to interview anyone who witnessed the shooting. If you did witness the incident, and haven’t been interviewed by a law enforcement member, you’re asked to call 920-448-4229.

“As this happens on our reservation, we treat the situation like family, like it happened to us. And so we send those heartfelt condolences to those affected, as well as those who had to be on-site and... close proximity of the incident. We wanted to make sure they have ample resources on-site last night and today and as long as they need them,” said Stevens.

Oneida Nation said the White House has reached out and sends their good wishes. Governor Tony Evers released a statement offering his condolences as well.

In order for the community to grieve together, officials say they will be planning spiritual events.

“We’re still kind of evaluating the situation and possible locations as to where we might hold some more of our spiritual ceremonies and making sure we’re reaching out to our employees and people who wish to participate,” Chairman Hill explained.

RELATED: Sheriff’s Office: Names of victims, shooter won’t be released Sunday; witness statements still needed

You can watch the full news conference below.

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