Man charged in strip club shooting - East Valley Tribune: Public Safety

Man charged in strip club shooting

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Posted: Thursday, January 6, 2011 11:57 am | Updated: 3:04 pm, Thu Jan 6, 2011.

A man accused of opening fire at a Phoenix strip club, killing two people and injuring three others, has been charged with seven felonies, including first-degree murder, according to an indictment obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

Along with two counts of first-degree murder, 28-year-old Gavin Macfarlane of Scottsdale is charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder, and one count each of aggravated assault and burglary.

Macfarlane attorney Quinn Jolly did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday, and a request to interview him at the Maricopa County jail was denied because he is being held in the psychiatric unit on a $2 million bond.

Prosecutors could seek the death penalty if Macfarlane is convicted of first-degree murder. His next court date is Jan. 13.

Macfarlane 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 on Dec. 26. Patrons tackled and beat him after he ran out of ammunition.

Macfarlane's mug shot showed him with a torn shirt; a bloody nose, chin, and forehead; and the beginning of two black eyes. Phoenix police said that some of the wounds were self-inflicted.

In a Maricopa County Superior Court document released Dec. 28, 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."

Police have not released information about a possible motive.

Adam Troy Cooley, 34, a security guard at the 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 at the time 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 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."

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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