Police have arrested one of the two men believed to be responsible for a shooting in a Kansas City bar that left four people dead and another five wounded.
An all-out manhunt is underway to try and bring the second suspect to justice.
Police say that they responded to the scene of Tequila KC Bar early Sunday morning after reports came in that a gunman had entered the bar and had opened fire, shooting at everyone inside.
After a day-long search for the men responsible, police were able to get one of the suspects into custody. Javier Alatorre, 23, was arrested Sunday afternoon for his alleged role in the violent crime.
But a second suspect, 29-year-old Hugo Villanueva-Morales, is still on the run, Kansas City authorities said. Investigators have warned the public that Villanueva-Morales should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.
Both men have been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and a judge set bond at $1 million.
But what may be most disturbing about the horrific event might be how it started.
Multiple agencies that are working the investigation, including the FBI, have said that it was a simple refusal of service that sent the tequila bar into chaos.
Around 11 p.m., one of the bartenders noticed one of the suspects inside the bar. He had reportedly experienced trouble with the man before, and refused to serve him a drink. The man became engaged and threw a cup at the employee.
Nine shot, four dead in shooting at Kansas City, Kansas, bar: police https://t.co/QUv3yRPYIQ
— The Kansas City Star (@KCStar) October 6, 2019
Reports from Fox say that it took four people to drag the man out of the building and remove him from the premises.
Around the time of last call, the suspect walked back through the door of the bar. He was not alone.
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Both men produced handguns and began to fire at everyone inside the bar, causing panic and chaos. Police described the horrific scene, noting that the small size of the bar left patrons with nowhere to go as the air filled with smoke.
“It’s a pretty small bar,” Police spokesperson T.J. Tomasic said. “You have two guys come in, start shooting, people are just running. People are just running wherever they can.”
The five victims that were injured were brought to area hospitals and are being treated for their wounds. Police say that those individuals have been listed in stable condition and are expected to make a full recovery.
BREAKING OVERNIGHT: 9 people have been shot and 4 people have been killed in a shooting in downtown Kansas City, according to the Kansas City Police Department. @sramosABC has more on this developing story. https://t.co/4rpJpsbjBq pic.twitter.com/Un50DSt6I4
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 6, 2019
Officials also confirmed that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives had also dispatched agents to the scene to assist with the investigation.
A security guard routinely works outside of the bar, but that person was reportedly not at work on the night of the shooting.
Critics have pointed out that a sign on the door read that guns were not allowed inside, potentially creating another soft target where a shooter could commit an excessive amount of carnage in a short amount of time.
A string of recent mass shootings in areas that are considered gun-free zones has sparked a national conversation about who should be held liable when a shooting occurs in an area where citizens are told they cannot carry.
The vast majority of these kinds of shootings occur in these gun-free zones.
Why? Because the sick individuals who commit such heinous acts are looking for a way to accumulate a large casualty count. That is hard to do in an area where an individual, or many individuals, may respond by pulling their concealed weapon and return fire, potentially neutralizing the threat. So how are we protected in these environments? We aren’t. But maybe there is hope, at least for the people of Michigan.
Ironically, the only people who abide by the gun-free zone signs are the ones that are following the laws to begin with.
A state representative has introduced legislation that would hold government offices and private businesses liable if anyone is injured during a shooting in a gun-free zone on their premises.
State Rep. Gary Eisen, R-St. Clair Township, introduced House Bill 4975, which would revoke governmental immunity from lawsuits arising from injuries sustained on government property where guns are banned. Eisen is also the sponsor of House Bill 4976, which would make a government, business or individual that designates a property a gun-free zone legally responsible for the safety of individuals who enter it.
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Eisen said the intention was to require a business or government that enforces a gun-free policy to take responsibility through measures like hiring security guards.
“I have to presume that no one will have a gun inside and I will be safe,” Eisen said. “They are telling me, ‘Don’t worry, Mr. Eisen, this is a gun-free zone. You’ll be perfectly safe in here.’ We know that is not the case.”
Eisen said by not allowing him to carry a gun, government and companies that declare their property a gun-free zone could be held liable under his bills.
Why not? If politicians can seek to have weapons manufacturers and gun shop owners held liable for what a bad guy does with a gun, surely we can seek to hold gun-free zone owners responsible for not allowing us our Constitutional right to defend ourselves and our families.