Witnesses say two men returned with guns after one was refused service and physically ejected from the small bar in Kansas City, Kansas

By Jeff Truesdell
October 07, 2019 12:55 PM
Suspects Javier Alatorre, at left, and Hugo Villanueva-Morales
Kansas City, Kansas Police Department

One suspect in the shooting that killed four people at a Kansas City, Kansas, bar early Sunday has been arrested while police look for his alleged accomplice.

Javier Alatorre, 33, was arrested late Sunday afternoon across the nearby state line in Kansas City, Missouri, with help from the local police, FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, according to a statement from police.

Authorities still were searching Monday for a second man, Hugo Villanueva-Morales, 29, who they said should be considered “armed and dangerous.”

Both have been charged with four counts of murder, with bond for each set at $1 million.

Five other people were injured in the shooting.

About 40 people were inside the small Tequila KC bar when the alleged gunmen entered around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, said Officer Tom Tomasic, a spokesman with the Kansas City, Kansas, police department, reports The Kansas City Star.

“You have two guys come in, start shooting, people are just running,” he said. “People are just running wherever they can.”

A bartender, Jose Valdez, told the newspaper that he’d refused to serve one of the men, who had caused trouble on a previous occasion. The patron allegedly responded by throwing a cup at Valdez and then was physically ejected from the bar.

Although the victims have yet to be named by authorities, 41 Action News reports two were in their mid-20s, another was in his or her mid-30s, and one was in his or her late 50s.

 

One victim, identified by friends and family as Everado Meza, was hailed as a hero, reports KMBC.

Celeste Trevino told the station that she was dancing when the shooting broke out and Meza  pushed her out of the way.

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“We saw a guy come up and literally pull a gun out and point it at us,” Trevino told the outlet. “Next thing I knew, [Meza] had to have pushed me or else I would have got shot because I was in front of him. He just pushed me out of the way. I was just on the floor and there was blood everywhere.”

“I was just crawling, trying to get behind tables and trying to get behind chairs. I was going ‘Where’s Ever? Where’s Ever?’ By the time I looked up, he was on the floor.”

Alfredo Calderon Jr., 29, was also identified as a victim by his uncle, Juan Ramirez, reports the Star. He was the father of 6-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter.

A candlelight vigil Sunday night outside of the bar drew about 200 people. Two of the victims were Mexican nationals, according to a tweet from Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s minister of foreign affairs.

“The families need closure, they have a lot of questions,” said Toni Maciel, who said those wounded in the shooting included her cousins, reports CNN. “We just want to know why somebody would do this here. There’s families here, but you get outsiders … they come and do something like this, it kind of hurts.”

An armed security guard usually in place at the bar had not shown up to work that night, bartender Valdez told the Star.

“I don’t know what to make of it,” said Valdez. “How can you go into a place full of people and just start shooting?”

Macial said the bar was a gathering place for the community, “a home away from home, you could say,” reports the Star. “But after this, I don’t know what would happen with our community.”

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