Ex-boss: Strip shooting suspect came to Vegas to become poker pr - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

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Ex-boss: Strip shooting suspect came to Vegas to become poker pro

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(Courtesy: LVMPD) (Courtesy: LVMPD)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The man accused of shooting two men on the Las Vegas Strip before barricading himself inside of an RTC bus reportedly told police he had been homeless for the past three years. In exclusive interviews with FOX5, former coworkers of Rolando Cardenas said he quit his day job about five years ago to become a professional poker player.

Executives with Cardenas' former company said they received a phone call Saturday during the standoff because SWAT teams wanted to receive information about the suspect. A human resources representative gave the officers information about Cardenas' family members.

Managers agreed to speak to FOX5 under condition of anonymity. The company is large and locally-owned.

"When (the HR representative) gave the information, she was told to stand by," the company's president said. "Less than half-an-hour later they called back and said that the situation had been diffused.

"We're saddened that somebody died in this particular incident, but we're happy that we were able to provide some information that prevented any further injuries or deaths."

Company executives said Cardenas was a pretty run-of-the-mill employee who served the company for multiple years before he decided to make a change.

The company's president said he recognized Cardenas' mugshot and that his face looks the same as it did five years ago.

"He has a passion for vintage cars and had a vintage car that he put most of his off-duty time and effort into," the president said. "All of us were just in total shock ... It's just kind of a distant memory."

Officers described Cardenas as "mentally unstable" in dealing with him on Saturday. Employees said they don't remember any red flags when Cardenas was with the company.

"Maybe there's extenuating circumstances or other issues that he faced that we certainly didn't see when he was here," the president said. "I think people in general are pretty interesting, and it's hard to say these days what reactions are going to be."

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