21-Year-Old Charged With First-Degree Murder in Seattle Area Casino Shootings

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:
Jun/05/2023

A 21-year-old man has been formally charged with the murder of a casino patron and two employees of Roxy's Casino near Seattle, Washington.

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Omar A. Upham Jr has previously served just under a four-year sentence for the holdup of a gas station/mini-mart.  He was released into community custody last October, according to information we obtained this afternoon from Corrections.

The probable-cause documents provided by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office say his alleged target Saturday night was one of the shooting survivors, a casino security guard, identified as John Leota.

… Witnesses and associates of (the guard) were interviewed, and several of them stated (he) was being sought after (because) he “snitched” on someone involved in a robbery. (The guard) later provided a recorded statement identifying Omar Upham as the person who shot him. (He) and Upham were once friends, but their friendship ended when (he) informed on Upham when they were arrested for robbery. When Upham entered the casino on 5/27/23, (the guard) immediately recognized Upham by his eyes and ran. When asked why Upham was after (him), he replied, “I told on him four years ago.” A search of … criminal history showed an arrest by Seattle PD in 2019, where (he) had identified Upham as an accomplice in a robbery (Seattle PD case no. 2019-441721).

This appears to have been the third time Upham Jr went after Leota, a former friend and accomplice in the 2019 robbery case.

The casino patron killed has since been identified as Hung Q. Nguyen.

Upham is alleged to have walked into the casino shortly before 11 pm Saturday night, May 27th, and shot at Leota, who attempted to escape by running.

Another employee, Chheng “CJ” Oung, was also shot.

Leota was only working at the casino for a month and revealed he had just been released from prison at the time he was hired. There were rumors that individuals were after Leota for suspicions of being a "snitch".

Leota’s brother advised detectives that several months ago, an unknown suspect shot up Leota’s mother’s house, and in a separate Leota’s vehicle was also shot up.

- Nagesh Rath, Gambling911.com

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