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Community on edge as KCK shooting suspect remains at large

Posted: 1:57 PM, Oct 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-09 18:23:27-04
Tequila KC

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — One day after an intense police search for the second suspect in a deadly Kansas City, Kansas, bar shooting came up short, those who knew the victims remain on edge.

“Everybody was thinking that they captured the second (suspect) or the suspect that was at large,” said Toni Maciel, who told 41 Action News she knew seven of the nine people who were shot at the Tequila KC Bar.

“We want him to get caught because we know he is a danger and we don’t feel safe,” she said.

Hugo Villanueva-Morales, 29, remained at large on Wednesday after fleeing the shooting early Sunday morning. Police allege that Villanueva-Morales and another man, 23-year-old Javier Alatorre, entered the bar around 1:30 a.m. and opened fire, killing four men and wounding five others.

READ MORE: 41 Action News’ complete coverage of the Tequila KC shooting

Jose Valdez, a bartender at Tequila KC who said that Villanueva-Morales threw a bottle at him and was kicked out of the bar two hours before the deadly shooting, said that he feels “uneasy” knowing the suspect is still on the loose.

“The guy that caused all the problems is not caught,” Valdez said. “He’s still out there, so I’m just hoping that they catch him.”

Maciel said that since the shooting, those who knew the victims have been “sticking together.”

“You know, just making good memories, remembering the good times that we’ve had with the individuals that did lose their life,” she said.

She said she has family and friends who are “traumatized” by the tragedy they witnessed at the bar that night.

“There’s no way that they can unsee this,” Maciel said. “It’s very tragic that they had to go through all that.”

Police said that Villanueva-Morales should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees him is advised to call 911 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477, but not to approach him.

"I don't want to lose hope. I hope they do find him," Valdez said. "I hope he is around and, you know, somebody tells and gives him up because I know he's very dangerous. We won't be able to feel safe until he's caught."

Alatorre was arrested on Sunday in Kansas City, Missouri and transferred Wednesday to the Wyandotte County Detention Center. Both suspects face four counts of first-degree murder in Wyandotte County.