A robbery of two bar patrons at gunpoint late Monday led to an exchange of gunfire on the outskirts of Fort Worth’s thriving West 7th Street corridor and the arrest of one of two alleged assailants.
Around 11:15 p.m. on Monday, shots were exchanged on West 6th Street near the parking lots behind Wendy’s and In-N-Out Burger. No one was injured. One man, Mark Anthony Villarreal, 22, of Fort Worth, was arrested and later charged with felonies involving assault and robbery.
Two customers of the nearby Grotto (517 University Dr.) were on their way to their parked car nearby when they were robbed at gunpoint by two men, according to police. The victims quickly returned to The Grotto, one of the most popular live music venues in Fort Worth, seeking help, prompting a 911 call, and Grotto owner Cody Admire and a friend went to track down the assailants. Admire was carrying his licensed firearm.
As Admire and his friend walked north on West 6th Street, Admire told Fort Worth Weekly, they were shot at from several dozen yards away by the two men Admire believed were the assailants. Admire returned fire, and the alleged assailants fled.
A few minutes later, police arrested Villarreal at The Corners strip center at 3020 W. 7th St. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated robbery, and two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance. As of Friday morning, the police could not locate the second suspect.
The robbery victims’ belongings were later recovered.
Admire said he is taking steps to increase security near his establishment. With cooperation from nearby landlords, he hopes to install several security cameras on his property and others’.