Agent killed in training accident

Published 9:15 am Thursday, January 22, 2015

A day after being promoted, the former agent in charge of the Mississippi Gaming Commission’s Vicksburg office was killed during a training exercise Wednesday near Tunica.

John Gorman, a 21-year veteran of the commission died after he was shot at about 9 a.m. in Robinsonville, said Allen Godfrey, executive director of the state gaming commission.

“John, a Madison County resident, worked with the commission for 20 years and had most recently served as Branch Director of the Vicksburg Field Office. He was named Director of Investigations yesterday, Jan. 20, 2015,” Godfrey said in an email.

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Gorman was the first gaming agent killed on duty in the 22-year history of the agency, Godfrey said.

“At this time, the commission asks for thoughts and prayers for John’s family, friends, and colleagues,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey declined to offer details of the shooting, which is being investigated by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

Attempts to contact MBI spokesman Warren Strain were unsuccessful.

Gorman’s online resume lists that he was a licensed firearms instructor, though it was unclear if he was conducting the training exercise during which he was shot.

As a gaming commission agent, Gorman was active in local law enforcement and emergency planning.

“We had done several exercises and walkthrough with several of the local casinos,” Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said.

“Our hearts are with his family and friends. He has made such an impact in gaming in, not only our market, but other markets in Mississippi. He was a strong collaborator. He was just a great leader from a gaming standpoint. He’s definitely going to be missed by, I know our property, but I’m sure all of the casinos in Mississippi,” said Annie Jenkins, vice president/assistant general manager of Ameristar.

Sheriff Martin Pace said Gorman worked closely with his department and that he was saddened to hear the news of his death.

“During the time that Mr. Gorman has been assigned to Vicksburg, he has worked alongside the sheriff’s office in multiple investigations and always presented himself in a courteous, professional manner,” Pace said.  “Our thoughts and prayers go out to John Gorman’s family and everyone else touched by this tragic event,” Pace said.

Gorman was also a certified CRP instructor and had worked at the YMCA’s Warner Tully summer camp in 2007.

“He was the assistant director of our summer camp for one year,” said Allison East with the YMCA.

The Mississippi Gaming Commission is headquartered in Jackson and has offices in Tunica, Vicksburg and Biloxi that monitor gaming at the state’s 34 casinos and charitable gaming. The Vicksburg office is at 4211 Rifle Range Road. There are 66 agents statewide.