Police: Strip club shooter fired at random - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Police: Strip club shooter fired at random

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Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 6:21 pm | Updated: 11:53 am, Thu Jan 6, 2011.

A man accused of opening fire in a Phoenix strip club, killing two people and injuring three others, told police that he had planned the crime and chose the victims at random, according to a court document released Tuesday.

Gavin Macfarlane, 28, of Scottsdale, is accused of shooting four people with a .38-caliber revolver and physically attacking a fifth person at the Great Alaskan Bush Company shortly before midnight Sunday. Patrons tackled and beat him after he ran out of ammunition.

Macfarlane's mug shot shows him with a torn shirt; a bloody nose, chin, and forehead; and the beginning of two black eyes. Macfarlane was jailed on a $2 million cash bond, and it was unclear whether he has a lawyer.

In the Maricopa County Superior Court document released Tuesday, Phoenix police wrote that Macfarlane had been a previous patron of the club and that he told investigators he planned the attack.

"Gavin stated that he had brought the weapon with him as part of a plan he had formulated in his mind," police wrote. "He then said he reached a point where he made the decision to go out to the parking lot and obtain his weapon from his vehicle, then return to the club with the intention of shooting the first people he came in contact with."

Police wrote that Macfarlane said he knew what he did was wrong "but stated he felt compelled to commit this offense."

"He said the victims were not specifically targeted, but rather were randomly targeted," police wrote. "He stated he stopped shooting because he ran out of ammunition and added that he may have continued to shoot additional people had he possessed more ammunition."

Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump said Macfarlane made various conflicting statements about why he wanted to shoot people at the club.

"I can't go more into the motive of a guy and I'm not going to try to theorize or summarize his interview," Crump said. "It's not for me to try to summarize what someone else was thinking."

Adam Troy Cooley, 34, a security guard at the west Phoenix club, was shot and killed. A club patron, Antonio Garcia, 20, also died. A 22-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman, both at the club with Garcia, were wounded. Macfarlane hit a fifth man in the face with his gun and punched him when he ran out of bullets, police said.

Damian Hartze, who has owned the strip club since 1997, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Macfarlane paid for a couple of dances on the night of the shooting: one in the topless part of the club and another in the all-nude section.

One of the dancers told Hartze that Macfarlane said he recognized her tattoos from a trip to the club a few years ago, but the other dancer said Macfarlane didn't respond when she asked him questions and didn't smile when she tried to joke with him.

The club's bartender told Hartze that Macfarlane ordered one beer but didn't even take a sip before he left to get his gun.

"He just went out of the house to cause destruction and kill people," Hartze said. "This guy was just nuts."

Hartze said Cooley had worked at the club for 10 years and was a model employee, a great friend, and well-liked by everyone. He said Cooley had a longtime girlfriend and no children.

Everyone at the club is shaken up by the shooting and Cooley's death, Hartze said. "Everyone is taking it pretty hard," he said.

Online court records show that Macfarlane pleaded guilty to assault in Glendale earlier this year and was sentenced to one day in jail, probation and ordered to attend a counseling program as part of a plea agreement. He was cited in 2002 for aggressive driving and lost his driver's license that year for failure to comply on a civil traffic offense.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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