Search for KCK mass shooting suspect ‘at a standstill’; new warrant signed by judge

A man suspected in a mass shooting Sunday at a Kansas City, Kansas, bar, who has been at large for days, has a warrant out for his arrest in a separate case in Leavenworth County, according to court records filed Thursday.

Hugo Villanueva-Morales was still being sought by police, who said Thursday they were “at a standstill” in the manhunt.

In a statement Thursday, Kansas City, Kansas, police said they wanted to speak with additional witnesses who may have been inside Tequila KC but left the bar prior to police officers arriving.

Officer Thomas Tomasic, a department spokesman, said police were waiting for more information and possible leads.

Villanueva-Morales has been identified by Kansas City, Kansas, police as one of two suspects in a mass shooting that killed four people and injured five others last Sunday at the Tequila KC Bar near 10th Street and Central Avenue. He faces four counts of first-degree murder in Wyandotte County District Court.

The victims were identified as Everardo Meza, 29, Alfredo Calderon Jr, 29, Francisco Garcia Anaya, 34, and Martin Rodriguez-Gonzalez, 58.

On Tuesday, police searched two homes for Villanueva-Morales but did not find him. Another suspect in the bar shooting, Javier Alatorre, was arrested Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, Missouri. Alatorre, 23, has also been charged in the killings.

Hugo Villanueva-Morales, 29, and Javier Alatorre, 23 Courtesy of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department

On Thursday, Leavenworth County Judge Michael Gibbens signed a bench warrant after Villanueva-Morales did not show up for a hearing in district court. The hearing was supposed to address a probation violation.

At the time of the shooting, court records showed, Villanueva-Morales was on probation after pleading guilty in August 2018 to trafficking contraband in the Lansing Correctional Facility in Leavenworth County, where he was serving time for a 2011 aggravated robbery. He also faced charges in an assault case across the state line and was free on bond.

In the Leavenworth County case, Gibbens had sentenced Villanueva-Morales to two years of probation because he “accepted responsibility” according to court documents.

Prosecutors opposed the decision at the time.

Witnesses with information about the bar shooting are asked to contact Detective Bundy at 913-573-6052 or Detective Sutton at 913-573-6056.

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.