Police make arrest in Las Vegas bartender’s murder

Las Vegas Metro Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the murder of a local bartender.

Homicide detectives arrested Tracy Kaufmann, 50, of Knoxville, Tennessee. The shooting happened early Monday morning at The Garage bar.

Las Vegas Metro Police say the shooting was not the result of a robbery. They are currently looking into other motives. Friends and the bar’s owners have confirmed, the victim is Phil Wells.

The Garage is a gay bar and the LGBT community is shocked but pulling together for someone many knew. Candles and flowers lay near one of the entrances to the bar.

“Phll is an amazing soul. He’ll give the shirt off his back to you. Always had a smile on his face and he would never do anything to hurt anybody. This is completely out of the blue,” friend Brandon Busche said.

It didn’t take long for the news to spread of the shooting of their friend.

“We saw him yesterday before he started working. He’s a friendly guy who doesn’t deserve this. He’d go out of his way for anybody. Friendly smile, friendly gesture,” friend Matthew Shatswell added.

Matthew Shatwell and Brandon Busche are frequent visitors to The Garage. They say the security and the service is what keeps them coming back.

“This is a very safe bar. It’s clean, the owners, keep it run very well. It’s a safe place for us to come and hang out,” Busche said.

Friends say they are not aware of anyone who would want to hurt Wells.

“He had no enemies. He welcomed anybody with a huge smile and a huge hug,” Shatswell said.

A candlelight vigil is planned for Phil Wells Monday at 8 p.m.