GARDEN CITY — Garden City police officers are investigating the fatal shooting of a local business owner outside his restaurant Thursday night.
On Friday, the GCPD identified the victim as Ernest Ortiz, 69, owner of the El Conquistador restaurant in Garden City. As of Friday afternoon, GCPD Capt. Randy Ralston said officers have not made any arrests.
At 10:55 p.m. Thursday, GCPD and Finney County EMS officers responded to a report of a “person down” next to El Conquistador, located at the corner of Buffalo Jones Avenue and Bancroft Street. Upon arrival, officers found a man with gunshot wounds lying on the parking lot entrance to El Conquistador from Bancroft Street.
EMS transported the man to St. Catherine Hospital, where he later died, according to the GCPD. According to the release, police believe the shooting may have been the result of a robbery.
By 2:30 a.m., officers searching for evidence had expanded the crime scene, blocking off the restaurant, its parking lot, a portion of a field to the west of the building and small stretches of Buffalo Jones Avenue and Bancroft Street near the restaurant. A string of dozens of evidence markers trailed from the front door of the restaurant to the driveway where Ortiz was found, where what appeared to be a piece of clothing lay alongside an oxygen mask and first-aid kit.
While some officers huddled over the piece of clothing and around evidence markers, others appeared to be taking photos in the parking lot and to the west of the building. Others walked along the right side and to the back of the building, shining flashlights around a side door, pickup truck parked near Bancroft Street and dumpsters behind the restaurant.
The investigation of the death, ruled a homicide, is still active.
The GCPD is requesting assistance from the community. Anyone who witnessed this incident or may have information related to it is asked to call the police department at 620-276-1300. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 620-275-7807 or text GCTIP and your tip to Tip411 (847411).