Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino confirms gunmen stormed the casino

Thursday, October 9, 2014
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Action News has learned Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino has been evacuated after armed men affiliated with the tribe stormed the casino.

FRESNO, Calif. -- Several gunmen stormed the hotel lobby of Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, shutting down the casino while they held security guards at gunpoint.

Tribal leaders say several security guards were assaulted inside the hotel, but no patrons were hurt, they say the violence was a result of fighting between factions in the tribe.

"Most of them were armed in vests. we had three of our officers surrounded to gunpoint. One of our guys were forced against the wall. All three of them were handcuffed and walked into the casino lobby," said Steve Jones, Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino.

Madera County Sheriff deputies blocked people from removing what looked like documents out of the building. It's not clear at this point exactly what those papers are or who was trying to get them out.

Tribal leaders say at 6 p.m. Thursday evening about 20 gunmen walked in the lobby with weapons drawn and forced security guards into a portion of the building. The entire casino was evacuated by deputies.

ABC30 spoke with a security guard who says he watched his team get assaulted.

Deputies say the only people who will be allowed back into the casino tonight, are patrons who booked a room there, no one else will be allowed in.

This comes as the casino is facing a potential shutdown. The federal agency that oversees Indian gaming is threatening to close the casino because of because of missing audits.

According to a letter sent out by the National Indian Gaming Commission, if the missing audits are not submitted, the casino could close by the end of this month. The letter also states that the tribe that runs Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino also faces fines of up to $16 million dollars for the missing audits.