‘Terror Squad’ Gand Member Convicted as Adult in Casino Winner Killing Gets 9½ Years

Estimated read time 3 min read

A juvenile convicted as an adult of the October 2019 manslaughter of a casino winner during a chilling home invasion in North Battleford, Canada, has been sentenced to nine and a half years in prison.

Unidentified Terror Squad members, above. The Saskatchewan, Canada-based street gang wears black and white and deals in drugs and violence. (Image: CBS Saskatchew)

The young offender, who cannot be named because of Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act, was a member of the local “Terror Squad” street gang. He was 17 years old when he killed Ryan Gatzke, 27, an expectant father who had won a modest sum – around $1,500 — at the Gold Eagle Casino that night.

Gatzke and his wife had enjoyed drinks and dinner at the venue in Saskatchewan province before heading home. But a former Gold Eagle casino employee tipped off the Terror Squad that the Gatzkes would have cash and possibly some weed at their house.

A spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA), which oversees the Gold Eagle Casino, told Casino.org in January that the individual was an ex-casino employee at the time of the incident and was no longer associated with or employed by SIGA.

However, Sask Today reports the employee was rehired after the killing, which SIGA failed to mention to Casino.org.

It’s not clear whether the individual will face charges.

Night Terror

On the night of the Gatzkes’s win, the couple were awoken by the sound of the bedroom door opening. A man with a gun was standing in the doorway.

Their home had been invaded by three members of the Terror Squad. They were Jacob Ballantyne, Isaac Melko, and the juvenile. Meanwhile, another, Charles McLean, waited outside as a getaway driver.

All were high on drugs and alcohol. Melko was armed with an SKS rifle and Ballantyne a 9mm handgun.

The juvenile pointed a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun at Gatzke. A struggle broke out, and Gatzke suffered two shots to the mid-chest and abdomen, one of which severed his right coronary artery.

The juvenile, who fired the fatal shot, stepped on Gatzke’s body as he lay dying on the floor, according to court documents.

‘No Remorse’

Court psychiatrists have described the juvenile as an individual who had a difficult upbringing and suffers from an antisocial personality disorder. He “feels no remorse” and is “entrenched in the gang and has no motivation to change,” according to court filings.

Ballantyne was sentenced to eight years in prison and Melko to 12 years after both pleaded guilty to manslaughter. McLean received four years for manslaughter.

Outside the courtroom, Gatzke’s mother, June Gatzke, described her son as a hard worker who loved to tease and joke around. He was working two jobs to support his fiancée and the baby they were expecting.

“It rips my heart every time. It rips my heart every day,” she said.

The post ‘Terror Squad’ Gand Member Convicted as Adult in Casino Winner Killing Gets 9½ Years appeared first on Casino.org.

 

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