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‘I still hear the gunshots in my head’: Eyewitness to casino shooting recounts terrifying moments

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 7:06 AM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - What was supposed to be a fun night ended in terror over the weekend after a man opened fire at the Golden Nugget in Biloxi. One man died and dozens of people there were left scared for their lives as they rushed to take cover.

Randy Johnson, a 41-year-old father of three and well-known barber in Gulfport, died after being shot multiple times. The suspect, Jereme Jones, was arrested shortly after the shooting and is now charged with murder.

Randy Johnson, 41, had three children and was a well-known barber in Gulfport. Johnson died...
Randy Johnson, 41, had three children and was a well-known barber in Gulfport. Johnson died after being shot over the weekend at Golden Nugget Casino in Biloxi.(Johnson family)

Rosie Hartfield was one of the terrified guests at the casino. The pregnant Wiggins woman said she had not been on the casino floor long when multiple gunshots were fired.

“I wasn’t even on the floor 10 minutes when someone right by me gets to shooting at someone else,” she said.

Nearly 24 hours later, the trauma still lingers.

“It was like, pow, and it paused,” Hartfield said. “Then it was pow, pow, pow, pow, pow. Six shots. The noise, I still hear the gunshots in my head.”

Hartfield was staying at the Golden Nugget to celebrate her 29th birthday with her husband. She said she was playing the slots when it happened.

“He shot a guy no more than 3 or 4 feet away from me,” she said.

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The aftermath was chaotic. Hartfield said she heard screaming and yelling as terror-stricken casino employees and guests, including several elderly people in wheelchairs, rushed to take cover.

“Everybody was just rushing out. At that time, I left my purse, I left money in the machine. Everything just dropped,” recalled Hartfield. “I’m pregnant so I was trying to run, too. I was very afraid. I went into a panic attack. People had to help me sit down.”

For hours after the shooting, hotel guests, including Hartfield and her husband, were put on lockdown in their hotel room, avoiding the crime scene downstairs.

“I haven’t been out of my room. I got my husband to get me something to eat now. Like, I’m like still freaked out,” said Hartfield on Sunday, more than 24 hours after the shooting.

But her worries go beyond her own well-being.

“I’m just praying for the families, the victim. I’m sorry for their loss. And I’m praying for the other guy, as well. Don’t anybody know no one’s situation. But, I just hope things get better.”

Jereme Lamond Jones, 30, of Mobile was arrested Saturday morning on a charge of first-degree...
Jereme Lamond Jones, 30, of Mobile was arrested Saturday morning on a charge of first-degree murder.(Biloxi Police Department)

Jereme Jones was charged with first-degree murder. According to the county prosecutor, his initial court appearance will likely be Monday morning by Zoom. A preliminary hearing most likely will be set in a couple of weeks.

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