A gunman allegedly shot and killed a customer at a Las Vegas Starbucks on Sunday morning in front of about a dozen or more terrified patrons.
The suspect was reportedly upset that his credit card was declined at the coffee shop’s drive-thru window.
He then allegedly parked his car and went into the store where he argued with another man and then shot that man in the chest. He then allegedly tried to mix in with the other customers when cops arrived after he phoned 911 himself.
“Officers say the suspect and victim had some type of confrontation inside before the victim was shot. The suspect also fired shots into the air and threatened to shoot the people around him inside the Starbucks,” NBC affiliate News3LV explained. The victim, a man in his 40s, tragically died at a local hospital.
The shooter and the victim apparently did not know each other before the deadly encounter, but the investigation into the Starbucks shooting is ongoing.
News 3 Viewer Bryan Dunlap captured this image of a person being taken into custody following a shooting at Starbucks. pic.twitter.com/H9KbJSgCK8
— NBC KSNV News 3 (@News3LV) September 25, 2016
“[Lt. Dan] McGrath said [the suspect] tried to blend in and elude police at the scene by calling 911 and describing someone else as the shooter. He was arrested after witnesses identified him to officers arriving to what police initially thought was a hostage situation,” the AP reported.
Cops also called out the bomb squad to examine the suspect’s backpack, but it turned to be a false alarm. Several area businesses were evacuated as part of the police response.
Said witness Medin Gebrezgier who administered CPR to the victim before first responders arrived, “Terror, it was just terror. We were afraid. I had no idea what to do. I heard about this stuff on TV and movies, but it was all the way real,” according to KVVU Fox5 Vegas.
The suspect, identified by multiple media outlets as Pedro Jose Garcia, 34, faces numerous charges including “open murder, robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary while possessing a gun and discharging a gun at an occupied structure,” KTNV 13ActionNews detailed. “Police records shows Garcia has had run ins with Las Vegas police since 2001. Since then, he’s faced police nearly a dozen times on charges, including stolen cars, drugs and possessing a firearm.”
Garcia, who is being held without bail at Clark County Detention Center, is due in court this morning. According to Lt. McGrath, the suspect has not been cooperative with investigators and has changed his story about why he shot the other customer.
“Garcia served time in federal and Nevada state prisons for convictions on stolen vehicle, battery, attempted theft, drug and weapon charges, according to court and prison records that showed he was released from federal custody last November,” the Las Vegas Sun reported about the Starbucks suspect.
The Starbucks outlet is expected to reopen today around noon time.
“Detectives tell 8 News NOW the suspect initially came out of the Starbucks with other patrons when they were getting people to safety. Once they got conflicting information from other witnesses, officers realized they had a murderer hiding among the crowd of evacuees. Once police were able to secure the scene, officers rushed inside the coffee shop to get the victim, who had been shot. The victim was rushed to the hospital, where he later died,” CBS affiliate Las Vegas Now added about the Sunday morning shooting in Las Vegas.
— 8 News NOW (@8NewsNow) September 27, 2016
Parenthetically, as the Inquisitr previously outlined, Starbucks implemented something along the lines of a gun ban policy about two years ago other than for law enforcement officers, although those carrying firearms are apparently still served at the coffee chain’s stores. CEO Howard Schulz said at the time that “We are not pro-gun or anti-gun.”
Watch this space for updates about the Las Vegas Starbucks shooting.
[Featured Image by Tim Boyle/Getty Images]