Casino exec kills home intruder

Mar 7, 2006 5:15 AM

A stalker, described by police as a disgruntled former employee, was shot and killed by a longtime casino executive at the latter’s home in California last week.

Police said Lou Phillips, 68, the former president and chief operating officer of Harrah’s northern Nevada hotel-casino operations and former general manager of the Reno and Lake Tahoe resorts, shot David Ferguson, 47, who was attacking Phillips’ wife, Sandra.

Ferguson, attired in black and wearing a ninja mask, forced his way into the Phillips home and was attacking the woman when he was shot with a .357 Magnum revolver. Police said Ferguson was carrying a gun, handcuffs, tarps, and a blindfold at the time he was shot.

Phillips, who left Harrah’s in 1995, spent the next five years teaching casino management at the University of Nevada, Reno. He became CEO of the Viejas tribal casino near San Diego in 2000. At that time, Ferguson was chief financial officer at the casino.

Following charges of poor job performance, Phillips fired Ferguson. After a short time, Phillips left his Viejas post.

Subsequently, however, according to officials, the stalking began as Ferguson sought revenge for his firing.