MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Monday is supposed to be a day of celebration for a Bloomington family. But because of what happened at the Bluefin Resort on the North Shore, September 4th will never be the same.
The family of Marcus Roberts remembered him Monday night on what would have been his 37th birthday. The blackjack dealer from Minneapolis was working a the Bluefin Resort for one night in December of 2015, dealing for their company party.
A resort employee, 62-year-old Kirk Bigby, admitted to being drunk and shooting and killing Roberts as he went outside to smoke a cigarette. He was sentenced to 100 months in prison last month. Marcus Roberts’ family is speaking publicly about what happened.
Elaine Pierce is Marcus’ mother.
“Now I’ve been given permission to tell the story so that now I can heal. Because I need to help the rest of the family heal, too,” she said.
And this brokenhearted mother has quite the story to tell.
“And I go, ‘You mean my son is dead?’ And he goes, ‘Your son received a fatal shot,'” Pierce said.
It was the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and it didn’t make sense.
Elaine’s oldest son Marcus was staying on the North Shore. He and his brother spent the day taking now sacred photos and enjoying the view. The brothers had just wrapped up their one night gig of dealing blackjack when resort worker Kirk Bigby shot Marcus in the parking lot.
Elaine says Bigby was drunk and took aim. There was no prior confrontation between the men.
“He wasn’t hostile, he was trying to make money to get his own place for him and his children,” she said.
Jessica Jensen is the mother of two of Marcus’ five children.
“He was absolutely devoted to his kids, he adored them,” she said. “With murder, it’s just — you don’t get that, you don’t get the closure.”
She says her children have nightmares and she’s seen them in the car hug each other and quietly cry as they ride to school.
“Kids aren’t supposed to have to feel that amount of grief,” she said.
But there’s been some peace knowing the man who killed their beloved Marcus is serving time. There’s also been comfort from a woman they never knew — a woman who was also killed.
“What particularly helped me was going to Justine Damond’s memorial service with my sister and how healing and how positive and I could sense Justine’s presence there even though I hadn’t met her,” Pierce said. “Let go — he wouldn’t want me to be this way.”
There’s a fund set up to help support Marcus’ children. Click here to donate.