Monday 14 October 2019

Four shot dead as two gunmen open fire in crowded bar after row

A man examines a bullet hole in the door of the Tequila KC Bar in Kansas City
A man examines a bullet hole in the door of the Tequila KC Bar in Kansas City

Heather Hollingsworth

Police are hunting two men who opened fire inside a bar in Kansas yesterday, killing four people and wounding five others in a shooting believed to have stemmed from an earlier dispute with a barman.

Police spokesman Thomas Tomasic said the two men had apparently had a row with people inside Tequila KC Bar in Kansas City, left briefly, then returned with handguns.

Bartender Jose Valdez said he had refused to serve one of the suspects on Saturday night because the man had previously caused problems at the bar. Mr Valdez said the man threw a cup at him and left, but returned later with another man shortly before closing time.

Around 40 people were inside the small bar when gunfire erupted around 1.30am, Officer Tomasic said. The gunfire sent people running for the exits, with the injured leaving trails of blood as they fled. One of the injured was trying to get a lift to the hospital when ambulances arrived.

"It's a pretty small bar, so if you have two guys come in and start shooting, people are just running, running anywhere they can," Officer Tomasic said.

All four men who were killed were Hispanic, but authorities do not believe the shooting was racially motivated. The shooting happened in a neighbourhood with a large Hispanic population.

Officer Tomasic said police were reviewing surveillance video and interviewing witnesses while looking for the gunmen.

"Obviously being a bar at 1.30, stories vary a lot," he said.

Among the dead was one man in his late 50s, another in his mid-30s and two in their mid-20s, police said.

However, Juan Ramirez, from Kansas City, told the 'Kansas City Star' newspaper that his 29-year-old nephew was among those killed. He said his nephew left behind a six-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter.

Customer Michael Barajas was one of the injured victims. He said he didn't realise at first that the fast bangs he heard were gunshots. As he tried to determine who was shooting, Mr Barajas said he felt a bullet hit his shoulder.

Irish Independent

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