KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A longtime bartender at Tequila KC says he came face to face with one of the shooters. FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt spoke with him Sunday morning about how this isn’t the first time he’s told him to leave.
Jose Valdez says as a bartender at Tequila KC he knows everyone who comes in and out of their bar. It’s a community of regulars. Valdez says Saturday night when the suspect came in, he told him to leave. He never imagined he would come back with a gun and open fire.
“How can you go into a place full of people and start shooting?” Valdez said. “It’s sad.”
Valdez has been working at the bar for about eight years. Every Saturday he says they have armed security to keep their customers safe.
“He did not show up last night,” Valdez said. “He’s an armed security guard we have there every Saturday night.”
He never imagined the one night he did not come to work that tragedy would strike. Around 11 p.m. on Saturday Valdez says a man he’s refused to serve before came into the bar.
“We never, we never serve him,” Valdez said. “We try to keep people like that out of the bar. Right then and there, he picked up a cup that was right there and threw it at me.”
Valdez says that’s when he kicked the guy out. The man got into a fight in the parking lot and left. Around one in the morning he came back, but this time with company.
“When he came in the second time he did not say nothing. He walked in and looked for who he was looking for, and just started shooting,” Valdez said.
KCK police say two men came into the bar and started shooting. Valdez says they were armed with handguns and panic erupted. Some people tried to hide, and others ran for the doors.
“I just heard all the gunshots and everything and then I didn’t come back up again until I heard a cop radio in the bar,” Valdez said.
Police say the men shot nine people — killing four. Now Valdez says he’s faced with the reality that friends and customers are gone in an instant.
“We lost some good people. Young people,” Valdez said. “One of the guy was 50 years old. His first time ever in our bar, was sitting there at the bar all night enjoying himself. First time ever in our bar. He was from out of town. Just to come in and have a drink and he lost his life. That`s sad.”
Valdez says he hopes police find the men and bring them to justice. He says he’s thankful to God he’s alive, and hugged his children tight in the morning.