Bartender who kicked Tequila KC shooters out finds some closure in suspect’s capture

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The capture of fugitive Hugo Villanueva-Morales is good news to the folks at Tequila KC Bar, who have been looking over their shoulders ever since the mass shooting on October 6.

"There was fear every day that he was out there," bartender Jose Valdez said.

But the fear is melting into relief now that Villanueva-Morales has been captured.

Valdez said he was only trying to keep his customers safe when he kicked Villanueva-Morales out of the bar the night of the deadly shooting.

"It was terrible. I mean, a normal night, you know." Valdez said. "I had kicked him out before because he comes in screaming gang violence, you know? So we try to keep them people out."

According to law enforcement, Villanueva-Morales is a member of the F-13 gang. Made up of mostly of Hispanic-Americans, the F-13's are dangerous, involved in serious crimes. The 13 stands for allegiance to the Mexican mafia.

"He demanded a beer, and I told him no. He threw a cup. He continued to pick up beers and throw them, you know? Led to a fight with some other customers outside, and I called the cops," Valdez said.

"I guess he was gone by then, but he had told us he would be back. I mean, we hear that from everybody who gets kicked out of a bar."

But Villanueva-Morales meant it.

Police said he and Javier Alatorre, who police say also runs with the F-13's, returned to the bar. After walking through the crowd, police saod the two opened fire, killing four people and injuring five others.

Many of them were Valdez's friends.

"They were regular customers there every day," he said. "We pray for them, and they're always in our hearts, you know?"

Alatorre was arrested just hours after the shooting at his parent's house in Kansas City, Missouri, while Villanueva-Morales boarded a Greyhound bus for Texas.

The FBI alerted Dallas police, but they missed the bus's arrival by 15 minutes. Vallanueva-Morales escaped to Mishoacan, Mexico, where two months later, he was captured Wednesday.

"It's a relief that he's caught, you know? Closure for the families and, you know, all of us were there that night," Valdez said.

Valdez said he and others will be celebrating Villanueva-Moralis's capture at Tequila KC while remembering their friends lost in this tragedy.

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