Starbucks reopens after deadly shooting, victim identified

By Karen Castro | kcastro@8newsnow.com, Caroline Bleakley | cbleakley@8newsnow.com, Tim Zeitlow

Published 09/27 2016 12:40PM

Updated 09/27 2016 06:57PM

A Las Vegas valley Starbucks reopened to the public Tuesday following a deadly shooting. Metro Police officers were inside the business to greet customers and support the employees.

The store located at Warm Springs Road and Rainbow Boulevard had been closed since Sunday afternoon when 41-year-old Aleksandr Khutsishvili was killed.

According to the Clark County Coroner's Office, Khutsishvili's official cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest and his death was ruled a homicide.

Staff was back in the store Tuesday morning getting ready for the opening which happened around 12:30 p.m.

"I was just mortified, absolutely mortified and just so scared for all the people that were working here," said Cindy Westergard, a customer.

She was the first customer in the door after the store reopened, but she didn't come for just a cup of coffee.

"I just came by because I wanted to let them know my thoughts and prayers are with them."

According to the police report, Pedro Garcia, 34, went into the store after his card was declined at the drive-through window when he tried to buy a bottle of water. The cashier let him have the water but he came into the store a few minutes later, argued with Khutsishvili and fired some shots killing him.

The report said Garcia called 911 to report the shooting and said he saw the victim reaching for something. He told the dispatcher his gun was jammed and requested medical help for the injured man.

"When you're at work, you expect to be safe, you know and doing your thing and earning a living," Westergard said.

According to the arrest report, police interviewed Garcia who claimed he "witnessed" the shooting, but police arrested him after workers and customers identified him as the gunman.

Starbucks workers were provided with counseling to help them cope with the shooting.

The alleged gunman Garcia is due in court Wednesday on murder, robbery, burglary and weapons charges.

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