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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Court documents: Victim in fatal shooting at karaoke bar tried to leave after suspect punched him

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 3, 2021

Family members gather to console each other at the scene of an Aug. 2 shooting that left a man dead in the parking lot of the Star Restaurant & Lounge near the corner of Hamilton Street and Sinto Avenue.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Family members gather to console each other at the scene of an Aug. 2 shooting that left a man dead in the parking lot of the Star Restaurant & Lounge near the corner of Hamilton Street and Sinto Avenue. (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Witnesses to a shooting were narrowly missed by bullets that flew through nearby residences, according to court documents that detail a fatal shooting in the parking lot of a restaurant on Hamilton Street and Sinto Avenue early Monday.

Ivan Lopez-Gutierrez, 38, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder Monday and sits in Spokane County Jail with bond set at $1 million. Police suspect a fight inside the Star Restaurant and Lounge, a karaoke bar near Gonzaga University, escalated until several gunshots were fired and a man was killed in the restaurant’s parking lot around 1 a.m. Monday . The man who was killed has not been publicly identified.

According to an acquaintance of the suspect, she had gone to a rodeo with Lopez-Gutierrez and her nephew Sunday night before the trio went to the Star in separate cars, the documents say.

At the restaurant, she messaged the victim to join the three of them at their table, and he did. According to court documents, this was the first time the victim and Lopez-Gutierrez met.

She said she noticed tension between the men at the table. While away from the table but still in eyesight, she saw Lopez-Gutierrez punch the victim, court documents say.

The witness told detectives she went back and walked the victim to the exit.

The three of them – the witness, her nephew and Lopez-Gutierrez – left shortly after. She told detectives Lopez-Gutierrez walked quickly ahead of them toward a car that had recently pulled in. She told police she and her nephew followed to try and stop a fight.

The car contained the victim’s nephew, who told detectives his uncle called him and asked for a ride from the Star because two people tried to fight him, according to court documents.

When the nephew arrived, his uncle approached his car. Soon after, the nephew said three people came out of the bar, one woman and two men.

The people approached the nephew and his uncle near the back of the nephew’s car, the court documents say.

One of the men, who matched Lopez-Gutierrez’s description, walked out of sight. Then, the nephew heard two gunshots. The sound of gunfire caused the other man and woman to flee the scene, the nephew told detectives.

After he saw the woman and one of the men leave, he got out to check on his uncle. He recorded video on his phone to show his uncle on his back in the parking lot, according to court documents.

When he started to record the man he believed shot his uncle, the suspect pointed a gun at the nephew and then drove off in the same direction as the other two.

Nearby residents were awake when they heard multiple gunshots near the Star. One witness told police he heard three gunshots and went to his back porch to see a sedan speeding through the adjacent alley. Another car followed soon after in the same direction .

When the resident went upstairs, he noticed one of the windows in the room had a bullet hole in it. His roommate confirmed their window had been shattered from a bullet, the documents say.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Police located the suspect about 20 minutes later and arrested him. Both of the people who were with the suspect cooperated with police and offered a description of Lopez-Gutierrez.

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