Crime

Man wanted in KCK mass shooting arrested two months ago under similar circumstances

A man wanted in connection with Sunday’s mass shooting that left four dead in Kansas City, Kansas, was arrested under similar circumstances two months ago.

Hugo A. Villanueva-Morales, 29, is one of two suspects in the deadly shooting at Tequila KC, a bar near 10th and Central Ave. He remains at large. Javier Alatorre, 23, was taken into custody late Sunday afternoon.

They each are charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

On August 5, Villanueva-Morales was arrested by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in an incident that, like Sunday’s shooting, began with an unruly patron being thrown out of a bar.

According to the probable cause statement in that case, an unidentified man was kicked out of a club in the 2800 block of Southwest Boulevard for “unruly behavior.”

An off-duty deputy with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office who was working security noticed the man in a confrontation with the club’s security personnel.

The man eventually left, but returned a short time later with Villanueva-Morales, who was yelling profanities and acting aggressively, the court document said.

The deputy told Villanueva-Morales to leave multiple times. Villanueva-Morales allegedly balled up his fist and began moving into a striking position. An altercation between the two unfolded. The deputy eventually was able to take Villanueva-Morales into custody.

Both men were bleeding as a result of the struggle, and Villanueva-Morales allegedly spit blood into the face of the deputy and a witness.

He was charged with third-degree assault.

Court records indicate he posted a $25,000 bond the next day. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 28.

On Saturday, a bartender at Tequila KC said he refused to serve a a man who had caused trouble at the bar before. The man responded by throwing a cup at him, Jose Valdez said.

It took four people to kick the man out, another witness said.

The patron left and then returned with another man, opening fire at the bar known as a community watering hole where people of all ages gathered.

Four people were killed and five injured.

The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department identified the two suspects Sunday afternoon.

Villanueva-Morales is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

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Katie Moore covers crime and justice issues for The Star. She is a University of Kansas graduate and was previously a reporter in her hometown of Topeka, Kansas.
Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.
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