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KCK police say deadly shooting at Tequila KC 'not random'

Tequila KC Bar Vigil_12.jpg
Posted at 3:14 PM, Oct 07, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A deadly shooting at a Kansas City, Kansas, bar early Sunday stemmed from an earlier disturbance that resulted in one of the shooting suspects being kicked out of the business, authorities said Monday.

Kansas City, Kansas, interim Police Chief Michael York said that officers responded to the Tequila KC Bar at 10th Street and Central Avenue earlier in the evening on a reported disturbance. By the time police arrived, the suspect had already left, and officers left the bar.

Police returned shortly before 1:30 a.m. Sunday in response to a shooting that left four men dead and five other people injured. York on Monday formally identified the victims as Alfredo Calderon, 29; Ebar Meza-Aguirre, 29; Francisco Anaya-Garcia, 34; and Martin Rodriguez-Gonzalez, 58.

York said the two suspects returned to the bar a few hours after the disturbance, armed with handguns, and appeared to fire at “specific individuals.” However, when asked for clarification, York would not say if police believe the suspects knew the men who were killed.

“The investigation is leading us to believe that it was not random,” York said at a news conference Monday afternoon. “… It was hectic and chaotic, but it was not a random act by two unknown individuals.”

York said the two suspects continued to fire into the crowd as they left the scene. He did not say how many shots were fired or how many shell casings were recovered at the scene, citing the ongoing investigation.

Hugo Villanueva-Morales, 29, and Javier Alatorre, 23, were identified Monday as the suspected gunmen. Alatorre was taken into custody in Kansas City, Missouri, and was awaiting extradition to Wyandotte County.

Villanueva-Morales remained at large on Monday afternoon, York said. He should be considered armed and dangerous.

York did not say which suspect had been kicked out of the bar earlier in the evening. He said that police had "no indication" the man would return to the business.

KCK Mayor David Alvey praised the efforts of first responders, as well as the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which are assisting in the investigation.

“The tragic fact remains four persons were killed and five more wounded,” Alvey said at the news conference. “Some children lost their parents, some parents lost their children. Friends lost friends. Our city lost good neighbors. On behalf of the residents of our city, I offer these families and friends our deepest sympathies.”

Alvey urged residents and businesses along Central Avenue with information on the shooting to contact police.

“You deserve a safe, beautiful and healthy place to raise your family, to form friendships, to establish a living,” Alvey said.

York said that police were not aware of problems at the bar in the past.

Surveillance video was recovered from the bar, but York said it will not be released as part of the investigation.

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