Security Guard Killed in Early Morning Shooting at Pickering Casino Resort

Security Guard Killed in Early Morning Shooting at Pickering Casino Resort
Durham Regional Police say the Pickering area casino and hotel remains closed Monday morning after a security guard died in an early morning shooting. (Mehrdad Nazarahari/CBC)

A security guard at the Pickering Casino Resort lost his life following a shooting incident in the early hours of Thanksgiving Day.

The Incident

Durham Regional Police were alerted to the incident shortly after 5 a.m. following reports of multiple shots fired at the casino, located near Church Street and Highway 401. Upon arrival, officers found a man critically wounded from gunshot injuries. The victim was swiftly transported to a Toronto-area trauma centre where he was subsequently pronounced dead.

Identifying the Victim

The deceased has been identified as 34-year-old Michael Ferdinand, who was employed as a security guard at the casino. Sgt. Joanne Bortoluss, representing Durham Police, confirmed the victim’s identity while addressing reporters. She emphasized that Ferdinand was “doing his job” when the tragic event took place.

Durham police say an early-morning shooting at a casino in Pickering, Ont., has left an employee dead. A Durham Regional Police officer looks at the screen in her car at a Bowmanville, Ont. shopping centre parking lot on Tuesday Feb. 28, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ives

Investigation Underway

While the motive behind the shooting remains unclear, Sgt. Bortoluss mentioned that the incident, which transpired within the casino’s premises, does not appear to be targeted. Authorities are actively seeking multiple suspects involved in the incident. The group, comprising both men and women, allegedly entered the casino armed and promptly fled the scene post-shooting.

The force’s homicide unit is rigorously working alongside casino staff to review surveillance footage and interview potential witnesses. Furthermore, both the casino and the attached hotel have been temporarily closed to facilitate the ongoing investigation. Meanwhile, guests residing in the hotel have been given the choice to either remain in their rooms or vacate the premises, as required.

Appeal to the Public

Durham Police are urging members of the public to avoid the vicinity for the time being. Additionally, anyone with relevant information concerning the incident is strongly encouraged to come forward and aid investigators in their pursuit for justice.