The man shot and killed outside a popular North Shore resort just as a holiday party was breaking up was identified Thursday as a 35-year-old man from Bloomington.
Marcus L. Roberts was at the Bluefin Bay resort in the small town of Tofte, Minn., this week with a casino gambling party rental company when he was shot outside shortly after midnight Wednesday by a resort employee, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
The rental company was providing entertainment for the annual Christmas party being held for the resort’s employees.
The suspect, Kirk L. Bigby, 61, of nearby Finland, Minn., was charged Thursday remained jailed on a charge of second-degree murder and appeared in court Friday morning, said Sheriff Pat Eliasen.
As the party was coming to an end, several people stepped outside from the resort’s Bluefin Grille, and that’s when Bigby “came into physical contact” with a man, then shot him with a handgun, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Bigby “became uncooperative and suffered minor injuries” while being apprehended, the statement said. He was treated at a hospital before being incarcerated. Bigby’s jail mug shot shows him with several facial injuries.
Eliasen said the gunman has a government-issued permit to carry a firearm.
Authorities have not revealed any more about what motivated the shooting. Bigby, who delivered firewood to guest rooms, was well-liked among the staff, resort owner Dennis Rysdahl said, and “has never been known to say an angry word or get into conflict with anyone.”
In a statement Wednesday evening, Rysdahl said that the annual holiday party is a long-standing tradition at the resort, where precautions are taken to make sure no one drinks and drives.
Party guests must relinquish their car keys before being admitted to the event in exchange for a key to a complimentary room. Car keys are returned only after breakfast the following morning — a policy that has prevented incidents in the past, he said.
“We have never had a shooting or any violent crime in Tofte in my 32 years here at Bluefin Bay,” Rysdahl said. “We love our small, safe community and it is so hard for us to understand how this could happen.
“I want to assure our many loyal guests that they can feel safe as they continue to enjoy their time at Bluefin Bay. This tragedy will only redouble our efforts to provide you with the best experiences we possibly can.”