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Suspect Arrested In River Walk Bar Shooting Was Scheduled To Perform At The Venue

San Antonio police arrested a suspect on Monday in connection with a shooting in downtown San Antonio that left two people dead and five others wounded.

They identified the suspect as 19-year-old Kiernan Christopher Williams.

The Sunday night shooting broke out during a rap concert titled “Living the Dream” at Ventura, a bar and music venue. Police Chief William McManus said at least one person opened fire after an argument.

As police escorted him into custody Monday, Williams told reporters he acted in self defense because someone threatened him. He went on to promote his Instagram handle and stage name — 32 Baby K9. 

Williams has been charged with capital murder of multiple people and unauthorized use of a vehicle. His bond is set at $1.5 million for the murder case, and $30,000 for the unauthorized vehicle use case.

He was convicted last year of assaulting a public servant back in 2017, and was sent to prison for 15 days before being released in August. He was also previously charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, both of which were dismissed.

One 20-year-old male was pronounced dead at the scene, and another person in critical condition died on the way to a nearby hospital. SAPD reported the deceased were 20-year-old Robert Jay Martinez III and 25-year-old Alejandro “Alex" Robles. According to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s website, Martinez died at 8:07 p.m., and Robles died at 8:23 p.m.

Two other individuals were taken to the hospital with life-threatening wounds, according to Joe Arrington, a public information officer for the San Antonio Fire Department. One other person was transported in stable condition.

An additional two people with gunshot wounds arrived at the hospital without transportation from first responders.

SAPD said that the remaining victims were expected to survive. Their ages range from 16 to 46 years old.

Arrington told TPR that one other person who was trampled while trying to escape the building was likely evaluated at the scene but not transported to the hospital.

Credit Kathleen Creedon | Texas Public Radio
Police at the scene.

No Ventura staff members were injured or killed in the shooting.

The concert featured several musicians, including San Antonio-based artists Ruz, Creep and 223Jerm. A since-deleted Facebook event said the show was also a celebration of 223Jerm's birthday.

Rob Mochen, founder and concert organizer for Coda Fin Booking, has booked many shows at Ventura for touring bands. He lives in San Antonio but was in Houston on the night of the shooting.

“That place is basically sacred ground for us and most musicians in town because of its history,” Mochen said. “And before Ten Eleven, it was another establishment. It’s always been a place for music.”

Mochen is also a founding member of the band Bright Like The Sun, which played its second-ever show at the venue. At the time, the riverside building was called the Ten Eleven, or 1011. Before that, it was called the Warhol.

Michael Carrillo worked at the building as a live sound engineer before he became the current owner. He then renovated the property and renamed it Ventura.

Mochen said Carrillo has always made the downtown venue an accessible spot for local and regional bands to play their first shows.

“I just want the venue to survive because of what it does for the city,” Mochen said. “And with something this tragic, people could be fearful for their lives, but this could happen anywhere. It has happened everywhere.”

He said gun violence often feels distant, and the public is desensitized to it. But, he said, that changes when an event hits close to home.

“It’s a tragedy when you see things like the El Paso shooting — the Walmart shooting. You know, these are all common locations that we are all familiar with, and it breaks our heart when we see things of that nature,” Mochen said. “But when it happens to someone that you consider a family member and to their establishment and to people so close to your own city, it almost forwards you into wanting to do something proactively for the future to help. It kind of pulls you into this mindset that you got to make a difference somehow.”

Oscar Moreno is a San Antonio-based concert photographer and musician. He also played one of his first shows at the Warhol around 2006.

Moreno remembered seeing Japanese Breakfast — now an internationally prominent indie project — at the small venue during the artist’s first tour.

“The one thing that was very clear about that venue was that it always welcomed new artists,” Moreno said. “It always welcomed every walk of life. It always welcomed diversity and inclusion.”

Moreno said the national attention to a shooting at a familiar, local venue is something he hasn’t experienced before.

“It definitely hits different,” Moreno said. “And you can feel the sting a lot more knowing that a mass shooting happened to a place that you grew up loving and you grew up visiting and expressing your creative talents.”

The shooting happened in San Antonio's District 1 — represented by Councilman Roberto Treviño. 

In addition to managing the venue, Carrillo is also a musician. He is a founding member of multiple projects, including Deer Vibes. Treviño said his multifaceted work hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“He has a great, great vision and is a generous musician — a generous soul — an artist that has just been wanting to celebrate his craft along with his fellow artists in a way that actually brings people together,” Treviño said. “And I think that that’s the message that we will continue to support, which is how important our artists are in San Antonio and how — through art, through music — people are being brought together, and we will always, always support that.”

Treviño said efforts will be made to prevent more shootings from happening in San Antonio.

“I think the community wants to hear that we are applying every available resource and every effort that we can to help prevent these kinds of situations, and we will do just that,” Treviño said. “We will do it in concert with our SAPD, our chief of police, city management and — of course — my city council colleagues. This is a serious thing, and we want to be a safe city, no matter where you are.”

McManus said the investigation is ongoing.

Editor's Note: San Antonio Fire Department initially told TPR one person with gunshot wounds was transported to the hospital without assistance from first responders. On Tuesday morning, they updated that number to two. 

Dominic Anthony can be reached at Dominic@TPR.org and on Instagram at @Dominic_Anthony_Walsh.

Kathleen Creedon contributed to this report.

Dominic Anthony Walsh can be reached at Dominic@TPR.org and on Twitter at @_DominicAnthony