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Employee Shot Dead At Trump Casino

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — An employee was shot Wednesday afternoon inside the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and died soon afterward, and a regular patron who knew him was in custody, state police and the casino's CEO said.

Ray Kot was a shift manager who had been with the casino since the day it opened in 1990.

"He was the loveliest human being you ever want to meet," said Mark Juliano, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts, which runs the casino. "He didn't have an enemy in the world."

Juliano said there did not appear to be a dispute between Kot and the shooter, whose identity wasn't disclosed.

Kot, of Egg Harbor Township, was shot three to four times in a nonpublic office just off the casino floor, Juliano said. He was taken to a medical center, where he died a few hours later following surgery.

State police said the shooter was a 57-year-old man from Norristown, Pa., who apparently knew Kot from past instances as a patron at the casino. Charges against the man were pending.

A state police spokesman said the shooter's name wouldn't be released until Thursday.

Norristown, a Philadelphia suburb, is about 80 miles northwest of Atlantic City. Pennsylvania gamblers still make up a significant part of Atlantic City's clientele, although the advent of slots parlors in the Philadelphia suburbs has siphoned off many gamblers who once had little choice but to drive to Atlantic City.

The shooting and its aftermath were not visible from the casino floor, and the gambling hall remained fully open until management shut its table games down Wednesday evening and sent home workers assigned there. Slot machines remained open.

Police said they recovered the gun used in the shooting after arresting the suspect in a parking garage.

It was the second incident involving a gunshot at the casino this year.

On Jan. 30, a suspect in a New York embezzlement case pulled a gun and threatened to kill himself in an office there, sparking an 11-hour standoff that included his accidentally firing a shot before he surrendered.

In that incident, the man, from Coram, N.Y., was being sought by New York authorities who had tracked him to the casino and were escorting him into a security office.

During questioning, the man pulled out a handgun. A police officer pushed him into a holding cell and locked the door.

The Taj Mahal is the largest of three Atlantic City casinos run by Trump Entertainment Resorts, the gambling company formerly run by Donald Trump.

Trump relinquished control of it during a 2005 bankruptcy, and in February he resigned as its chairman when bond holders rebuffed his efforts to buy it.

The casino, located on the Boardwalk, is one of the largest in Atlantic City, with 4,000 slot machines and 210 tables games. It opened a 782-room second hotel tower last September.

The Taj Mahal, along with the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and the Trump Marina Hotel Casino, is in bankruptcy court following a February Chapter 11 filing.