KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — One of two men who is accused of opening fire inside a crowded bar in Kansas City, Kansas, killing four people and wounding five others, has been captured in Mexico, authorities said Thursday.
Authorities have been searching for Hugo Villanueva-Morales, 29, since the shooting at the Tequila KC bar on Oct. 6. Kansas City, Kansas, police spokesman Jonathan Westbrook said he was arrested Wednesday in Mexico but did not immediately release further details about the arrest.
Villanueva-Morales and Javier Alatorre, 23, are suspects in the Oct. 6 shooting at a Tequila KC bar. Alatorre was arrested shortly after the shooting. Both men are charged with four counts of first-degree murder, with bond set at $1 million each.
A criminal complaint filed in October in U.S. District Court in Kansas and unsealed last month also charges Villanueva-Morales with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution for those murder counts. An FBI affidavit filed in the federal case said witnesses told investigators Villanueva-Morales was likely to flee Kansas City by bus to Mexico.
After reviewing bus routes, the FBI requested that Dallas police intercept a bus scheduled to arrive in Dallas that same day. The bus arrived behind schedule, but police missed it by about 15 minutes. A search warrant for Villanueva-Morales’ cellphone’s location history found his phone had been in Dallas near the Greyhound bus station.
Alatorre was taken into custody the day of the shooting at a home in Kansas City, Missouri, without incident. A search of the residence located the Los Angeles Dodgers jersey that Alatorre allegedly was wearing on surveillance video during the shooting. Officers also located a 9mm handgun, the same caliber as the casings recovered from the scene.
Police have said the shooting apparently stemmed from an earlier dispute inside the bar, prompting the two men to return to the bar with handguns and start shooting. Officers had responded to reports of a disturbance at a bar two hours before a shooting.
All four men who died were Hispanic but authorities did not believe the shooting was racially motivated. The bar is in a neighborhood with a largely Hispanic population.
At the time of the shooting, Villanueva-Morales was facing a pending third-degree assault charge in Missouri. Court documents say he fought with a sheriff’s deputy in August after another man was ordered to leave a club in Kansas City, Missouri. Alatorre, meanwhile, faced several charges stemming from a police chase. An order of protection also was issued against him in 2017.
Both suspects are convicted felons. Villanueva-Morales had been caught with synthetic marijuana while serving more than four years in a state prison for robbery and was released when he was sentenced for trafficking contraband. The judge could have sent him back to prison for nine years but instead put him on three years’ probation.
Villanueva-Morales violated probation by testing positive for marijuana use in September and agreed to serve two days in jail, according to a review of court records by AP. He left the jail in neighboring Leavenworth County on Sept. 29, a week before the bar shooting.
Alatorre also had been released from jail in September in nearby Jackson County, Missouri, where he still faces charges of fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle. A judge released him on his own recognizance.
Villanueva-Morales also was facing charges in an assault case in which prosecutors allege he fought with a sheriff’s deputy outside a Kansas City, Missouri, bar in August. Charging documents say the scuffle happened after an unknown man was kicked out of the bar and returned later with Villanueva-Morales.
This story has been corrected to delete erroneous reference to Westbrook as a suspect.