KANSAS CITY, Kan. — One suspect in the Kansas bar shooting that left four men dead and five people injured has been arrested and a second suspect has been identified but he is still wanted, police said.
Javier Alatorre, 23, was arrested late Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, Missouri, said a news release from the police department in Kansas City, Kansas, where the shooting occurred.
Police are searching for the second suspect, Hugo Villanueva-Morales, 29, and said he is considered armed and dangerous. If you see him or know where he is call 911 immediately or the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.
Both have been charged with four counts of murder in the first degree and their bonds have been set at $1 million each, the release said.
The shooting may have stemmed from an argument that occurred inside the bar hours earlier, police said.
A bartender, Jose Valdez, said the problem started when he refused to serve a man who’d caused problems months earlier. The man threw a glass at him and was thrown out of the club, Valdez said.
A few hours later, that man and a second man came through the back door with pistols, he said.
Regulars at the Kansas bar were still trying to understand why the gunmen opened fire in the venue early Sunday.
At least 200 people attended an emotional candlelight vigil Sunday in the parking lot of Tequila KC bar in Kansas City, a scene filled with crying friends and family members of the victims. Photos of three of the four men killed were displayed behind candles.
“The families need closure, they have a lot of questions. We just want to know why somebody would do this here,” said Toni Maciel, whose cousins were among the wounded. “There’s families here, but you get outsiders … they come and do something like this, it kind of hurts.”
‘I just remember holding his face’
The four slain victims were all Hispanic men, said police spokesman Thomas Tomasic. They were identified as a man in his late 50s, another in his mid-30s and two in their mid-20s. Two of the men were Mexican nationals, Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s minister of foreign affairs, said on Twitter Sunday.
The five people injured are in stable condition, and some have been released from the hospital, police said.
Police have not yet confirmed the victims’ identities, but we have learned three of the victims’ names through family and friends.
Francisco Garcia Anaya, known to his friends as “Stranger,” was at the Tequila KC bar with his fiancée and died in her arms, according to their friend, Shay Celedon. Celedon was with them at the bar but left two hours before the shooting.
“I go home, go to bed, get woken up two hours later (to learn) that he’s deceased, and she held him ’til he took his last breath, and tried to bring him back and keep pressure on his gunshot wound. And it was just one fatal shot that took him from us,” Celedon said.
The fiancée, Jessica, was at the vigil on Sunday night but was too distraught to speak.
Everado Meza, another victim, was talking and dancing with Celeste Trevino inside the bar when the shooting began. Trevino said Meza pushed her aside as the shooting began.
“He saved me. He did save me. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here right now,” Trevino said.
“I just remember holding his face,” she added. “And I’m pretty sure he still had my lipstick on his cheek when he died, because I remember kissing him on the cheek.”
Alfredo Calderon, a third victim, was Trevino’s brother-in-law.
“He was a great dad. And a lot of people are going to miss him,” Trevino said.
A welcoming place shattered by gunfire
The two suspects walked into the Tequila KC bar around 1:30 a.m. Sunday with handguns and started shooting, police said. There were about 40 people in the bar at the time.
The gunfire prompted customers to stampede out of the private, members-only venue, Valdez and Tomasic said.
Regulars of Tequila KC bar described it Sunday as a gathering spot where everyone knows each other.
It was always a safe and welcoming place to adults from their 20s to their 60s, Maciel said. People would come after work for a drink, and guests generally know each other and their families.
“It’s unfortunate it happened here, because this is the place to go,” she said. “Now when we hang out, it’s going to be kind of different, not the same vibe.”