Posted on: December 28, 2022, 11:11h. 

Last updated on: December 28, 2022, 12:09h.

Rapid City, S.D., police continue to search for the suspect who robbed the 777 Casino on Christmas Eve. He fled with an undetermined amount of cash.

Rapid City, S.D., police cruiser
A Rapid City, S.D., police SUV, pictured above. Local police are investigating a casino robbery. (Image: Rapid City PD)

The incident unfolded at about 2 a.m. on Saturday when a man walked into the casino with his hands in his pockets. He went up to an employee and demanded money, Then, he fled.

The suspect has lighter skin and is about 5-foot-10. He was wearing a winter coat, blue jeans, gloves, white tennis shoes, and a black mask over his face.

Earlier Heist

At the same casino, in September, a sole bandit entered the venue, pulled out a firearm, and demanded that an employee turn over cash. After the loot was given to the criminal, he fled the gaming venue. He was last seen running on Whitewood Street, KOTA, a local TV station, reported.

The suspect in that case was wearing khaki pants, a gray hoodie, red shoes, and a dark bandana, police said. It is unclear if the two incidents are related.

July Shooting Justified

Rapid City has seen several recent robberies and other incidents at its casinos. Notably, in July, an armed man in the parking lot of Chances Casino was shot dead by officers after he fired at police. The gunman was brandishing a firearm and shooting in the lot before cops arrived, police revealed.

The threatening behavior continued when officers got on the scene. The suspect then fired a handgun at police officers, according to information from a Facebook video from Rapid City Police Chief Don Hedrick. The gunman struck one of the patrol cars.

The officers returned fire, killing the man. Officers believe the shootout may have been a deliberate attack on police. An October review of the shooting determined that the two Rapid City police officers were justified in using lethal force.

South Dakota Attorney General Mark Vargo and the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) concluded that during the incident, the suspect, Marvin Moran Jr., fired his handgun toward a patrol car in the casino’s parking lot, drawing return fire from two police officers. An autopsy revealed that Moran was struck by 10 bullets.

The officers were justified in shooting at Moran, given that they “faced clear and present danger and there was danger to the public,” the official report concluded. The officers “believed they were in a situation in which Moran was attempting to inflict serious injury or death, and responded with deadly force.”

“The Rapid City Police Department officers faced a fluid, tense, and undeniably dangerous situation,” Vargo agreed in a statement.

“A witness later told investigators Moran had confronted them in the casino’s parking lot before the officers’ arrival. He was drinking vodka from a bottle. Moran then brandished a handgun and fired the weapon in the direction of the witness, the witness said.

The witness believed he/she was wounded when debris hit them in the face. Moran also made threatening comments toward the witness.

Investigators also looked at Moran’s Facebook page, which revealed he was suffering from cancer. He refused to get medical treatment.

Moran talked about going on a killing spree when he got close to the end of his life,” the report said. “Moran talked about suicidal thoughts and thinking about ‘going out by cop.”

“Moran also had an “urge to kill someone, that he was following people, and he wanted to watch the life leave their body,” the report added. He added in an online message that he “didn’t have anything to lose.”