Suspect in Vail bar shooting faces murder charge

AP News
Posted: Nov 08, 2009 2:52 PM

A 63-year-old man suspected of fatally shooting one person and wounding three others in a Vail bar has been arrested in what authorities say was an apparently random shooting.

Longtime Vail resident Richard Moreau is accused of firing several shots outside and in the Sandbar Sports Grill in the mountain ski resort town. Police say he was arrested Saturday at the scene on suspicion of first-degreee homicide.

Police said Gary Bruce Kitching, 70, of Carbondale, was fatally shot. The other victims, whose names have not been released, are from Vail and they include a 29-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his arm and 25-year-old man who was treated for injuries to his leg and released.

A 63-year-old man was flown to a Denver hospital, authorities said. His condition wasn't released.

Moreau was being held in Eagle County jail and was scheduled to appear in court Monday. Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger said it wasn't known Sunday if Moreau had an attorney.

Henninger said that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation was helping investigate the shooting scene. He said the town about 100 miles west of Denver hasn't had any homicides since the early 1980s.

"It's really a shocker for all of us here," Henninger said.

Police don't believe that Moreau knew the people who were shot.

"The initial impression is that it appears to be somewhat random," Henninger said.

The shootings were reported at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Witnesses told authorities that a man started arguing with others in the bar and employees took him outside.

Steve Corr of Gypsum told the Vail Daily newspaper that the man pulled out a gun just as he was out the bar's door.

"I saw a gun, and he fired it off," Corr said. "It looked like he hit at least one. Everybody scattered, pretty much."

Henninger said the suspect returned inside and continued shooting. He said the suspect used a semiautomatic 45 caliber handgun.

Police have had contacts with Moreau over the years, "but nothing like this," Henninger said.

Moreau told the Vail Daily in a 2006 interview that he has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since 1979 after serving two tours of duty in Vietnam in the late '60s. He said he is a New Hampshire native who moved to Vail in 1970 and skis more than 150 days a year.