LAS VEGAS -- Police say 50-year-old Tracy Kauffman -- the Knoxville, Tennessee man arrested in a shooting at 'The Garage' bar in Vegas -- was trying to flee the city when he was captured. Metro arrested Kauffman while he tried to buy a ticket at McCarran airport.
Friends of the victim, Phil Wells, Kauffman and Wells were involved in a relationship at one time.
For a short while, many were afraid the shooting was a hate crime, but Kauffman's arrest quickly dispelled that notion. Kauffman has been charged with murder with a deadly weapon and burglary with the use of a deadly weapon.
Hundreds showed up at a vigil outside 'The Garage' bar. Those who showed up said they arrived not only to remember Phil Wells, but as a sign of solidarity. The vigil was quiet, except for the few times friends sang some of Wells' favorite songs.
In the short time Wells lived in Las Vegas, friends say he made an impression on a lot of them.
According to friends and family, Wells had only been bartending at 'The Garage' bar for a short time, but they said he was their first employee of the month. He was shot and killed yesterday morning at the bar, near Flamingo and Maryland Parkway.
Wells counted a few hundred in the gay community as his friends, and they came together last night outside the bar where he worked.
David Martin, Wells' uncle and roommate, said that Wells’ death has been like a punch in the gut.
“I feel like somebody's taken an ice cream scoop and scooped out my insides,” Martin said. “I'm just very raw and empty right now. I can't really see a lot of sense in the world right now, that this would have to happen.”