National News

Anger about poker games preceded senior apartment shooting

Posted September 15

— A 77-year-old man who shot three people, killing one, at the senior apartment complex where he lived had grown distant recently and had been angry about frequent poker games in the building's common area, according to people who knew him.

One person died at the Heritage Court Apartments and two others were wounded. Larry Rosenberg, the shooter, killed himself as police closed in on him in a neighborhood about a mile away, Cheyenne police said.

Mary Eastman, 80, said Rosenberg handed her a letter as she headed out to shop the morning of the shooting. Eastman said she left the letter in her apartment and didn't read it until later — after she returned to find the building a crime scene.

Police eventually let her back in to get her dog.

"His problem really was that damned poker gambling. That was it. That was all he complained about," Eastman said of what Rosenberg wrote.

She said police had the letter. Cheyenne Police Department spokesman Dan Long said Wednesday he couldn't immediately confirm that statement.

But Eastman said Rosenberg wasn't the only person with concerns about poker games held three days a week in the common area. The issue came up at a recent meeting at which residents told the apartment complex managers about any concerns they had, she said.

"Sunday, Monday and then Wednesday," Eastman said. "That's too much. To haul them people in we don't even know. We don't want to know them. No, we don't. They're taking up our space. Sleeping on the sofa. Sleeping on the recliner."

Heritage Court Apartments has 32 affordable housing units for households with at least one member age 62 or older, according to its website. Messages left with the complex's owner, Accessible Space Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota, were not immediately returned.

Eastman said she liked Rosenberg and they often went to yard sales together. But Eastman's daughter, Margaret Rosso, said Rosenberg had become standoffish in recent months.

"He started getting more and more distant, complaining about the facility and about people and just kind of pulling away, isolating himself more and more," Rosso said.

Long did not identify the victims or provide information about the conditions of those who were wounded. Attempts to reach Rosenberg's family weren't successful.

Police comforted a distraught woman at the scene. What appeared to be a covered body was visible within an area cordoned off by authorities.

Multiple shootings are rare in Cheyenne, Wyoming's capital city with a population of just over 60,000. City police handled six homicide cases last year, the department's annual report said.

___

Associated Press writers Ben Neary and Bob Moen in Cheyenne contributed to this report.

Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all