Weekend Murder In Vail Rattles Mountain Community
A Vail resident accused of shooting several people and killing one in a bar over the weekend was scheduled to appear in court on Monday morning.
Richard "Rossi" Moreau, 63, is suspected of first degree murder after police say he shot four people on Saturday night at the Sandbar Sports Grill in the western part of the mountain town.
Gary Bruce Kitching, 70, of Carbondale, was killed and three others were hurt. The other victims were also men and they were 29, 25 and 63 years old. The 63-year-old was flown to a Denver hospital after the crime and he and one of the other men were still at the hospital Monday morning.
Nancy and Rick Lewis were inside the bar when they told CBS4 they saw Moreau arguing with employees.
"He was incoherent. None of his sentences made sense," said Nancy Lewis, who was watching Moreau "with an air of suspicion."
Bar employees then kicked Moreau out, and Rick Lewis said he saw Moreau pull out a gun outside.
"My own two eyes — I see the gun in his hand. I (saw) two muzzle flashes and then … it's chaos," he said.
About 30 people ran then for cover. A frantic waitress ran from the bar and called 911, saying "Some guy's shooting at the Sandbar." She told the 911 operator that "her boss got shot."
"We saw the manager get shot, and that's when we were trying to decide 'Should we run or should we duck?'" Nancy Lewis said.
Moreau apparently came back into the bar at one point and kept shooting.
Police arrived on the scene while the shooting was still going on. Officers allegedly captured Moreau while a gun was still in his hand.
"He seemed really drunk. He almost spilled his beer on me a couple times," bar patron Jimmy Rigdon told CBS4. "But, I mean, he didn't seem like a bad guy."
"I don't think he had a handgun on him when he was in the bar," said Mike Dundas, another person who was at the bar. "I think he went out and got one and I just thank God I wasn't in there."
Moreau is a Vietnam veteran and avid skier who is well known to locals. In an interview from 2 years ago with the Vail Daily that was posted on YouTube Moreau said he "lives a very sedate life" but that he was struggling to afford housing in Vail and was on anti-depressants regularly to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I take drugs every four hours to keep down the anxiety and depression," he said in the video. "I'm very, very frustrated. I've given 100 percent to this town."
Vail's police said they don't believe Moreau knew the people who were shot.
A friend of the deceased victim Gary Kitching told CBS4 Kitching was at the Sandbar because he wanted to see the USC football game on a big screen.
Moreau is being held in Eagle County jail.
Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger said the mountain resort town hasn't had any homicides since the early 1980s.
"It's really a shocker for all of us here," he said.