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Police allege man shot ex-boyfriend, reloaded, emptied 2nd clip

Updated Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 | 2:54 p.m.

Metro Police arrested Tracy Dale Kauffman, 50, Monday afternoon at McCarran International Airport as he was preparing to buy a plane ticket.

Metro Police arrested Tracy Dale Kauffman, 50, Monday afternoon at McCarran International Airport as he was preparing to buy a plane ticket.

The man arrested in the slaying of a bartender Monday shot his ex-boyfriend as he fled then reloaded a semi-automatic pistol and fired 15 more rounds into his body, a Metro Police report says.

The suspect, Tracy Dale Kauffman, 50, told police he brought a handgun to Las Vegas to scare his ex-boyfriend, Phillip Wells, who worked at The Garage, a gay bar at 1487 E. Flamingo Road, the report says.

Kauffman was arrested at 3:25 p.m. Monday at McCarran International Airport, where police said he was buying a ticket to leave town. He was booked at the Clark County Detention Center on counts of murder with a deadly weapon and burglary with a deadly weapon.

In an interview at Metro’s airport bureau, Kauffman, who lives in Knoxville, Tenn., allegedly said he flew to Las Vegas about a week ago because he was angry with Wells, police said.

Kauffman said Wells took advantage of him, the report says. He carried a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun with him in his luggage, police said.

Kauffman went to the bar shortly before 5:30 a.m. Monday, where Wells was working the graveyard shift, the report says. He began shooting at Wells, who fled to a rear storeroom while two customers escaped out the front door and called police, the report says.

Police said Kauffman fired more shots as he chased Wells to the storeroom, where the bartender fell to the floor, the report says. Kauffman reloaded his gun and fired approximately 15 more shots into Wells’ back and head, police said.

Kauffman told police he then returned to his motel, showered and threw his clothes and gun in a Dumpster, which he watched a garbage truck empty, the report says. He then went to the airport to return to Tennessee.

Kauffman is being held without bail on the murder charge. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning.

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  1. Comment removed by moderator. - -

  2. How the heck did this guy get a gun onto a flight heading into Vegas? (I am assuming he flew into Vegas) If this guy can sneak a gun in his luggage, then what is with the close to anal probing we have to go through when we fly?

  3. @dacon1508:

    The gun show was over the weekend. Private party sales require no waiting period. Connect the dots.

  4. Chunky says:

    It is legal to declare and transport a gun in checked baggage on a plane; it's more common than you'd think.

    This guy was so freaked he would have killed the guy with whatever he had at his disposal whether it was a gun or not.

    Crimes of this nature exhibiting excessive violence and over-kill are crimes of passion... and insanity.

    He'll get his day in court and in prison.

    That's what Chunky thinks!

  5. Yes it is true you can carry a firearm in your baggage I do this every time I come to Vegas. Although I haven't been in four years so I can't say if the requirements have changed. It used to required to be inside of a hard shell case and it placed inside of luggage and the rounds were not to be in the gun at all, And when you went to the ticket counter you would declare it to be in the luggage and that piece of luggage got special attention too. That's the one I would put my watch and gold rings in (They watch it very very close).
    However don't declare one that you don't have because they will want to know where it is when they don't find it.
    This sounds like the the victim was getting away from a abusive relationship. The killer says he just wanted to scare him yeah. The man was shot more than fifteen times with a .40 cal....Unbelievable.
    I will pray for the victims family.

  6. True love gone wrong!

  7. Serious question: If he killed this unarmed defenseless bartender because he now hated him for whatever reason, is this still a "hate crime"?

  8. If it's not a "hate crime" then why do the others get additional sentences for "hate crimes"?

    Is this bartender less important than the others of a perceived social group?

  9. Some would argue this shows why more of the sane, rational people should be armed, even inside bars etc. I would tend to agree. You'll never keep guns and other weapons out of people like this perpetrator's hands.

  10. This disgruntled guy wasn't so "gay," was he?