British man shot dead in Amarillo

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The Independent US

A British father shot dead on a road trip through the United States after stopping in Amarillo because he loved the cult song was "just in the wrong place, at the wrong time", his family said.

Tom Reeve was gunned down while visiting a bar in the Texan city - made famous in the UK by the Tony Christie chart hit, (Is This The Way To) Amarillo.



The 28-year-old and his two friends were only making a brief stop in Amarillo during a trip from San Francisco to Florida.



In a statement issued from his detached family home in Maidenhead, Berkshire, his mother Margaret and step-father Brian Millin said: "Tom was a much-loved son, brother and father who will be missed by the whole family and very many friends."



Mr Reeve, who had a nine-month-old daughter, died of a wound to the torso after the masked attacker walked into the Spotted Pony bar on Thursday night.



Local police said Mr Reeve, who had rented a car in California, had arrived in Amarillo just hours before the shooting.



His parents said "the whole family was in shock" as they told how Mr Reeve, who had lived all his life in Maidenhead, was always "happy and optimistic".



They added: "Although he worked for many years in the licensed trade he was, in fact, teetotal.



"He was on a holiday with two of his friends, driving from San Francisco to Florida and had chosen Amarillo as a stopping place because he liked the song. He was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time.



"He loved life, was always happy and optimistic about the future. He was generous, kind and always saw the best in every one he met. He adored his nine-month-old daughter, Tabitha, and was a devoted father."



Sergeant Kevin Dockery, of Amarillo special crimes unit, said a suspect - according to US reports, Ray Carlos Cisneros, 25, - had been charged with murder.



He told BBC News 24 the incident was "shocking", adding: "The bar itself is a small pub. It's in a nice area of town - we really have not had that much trouble there in the past so this was kind of shocking that this occurred.



"We do not have a lot of information on him (Cisneros) right now as he is not from Amarillo.



"At this time he has been charged with capital murder and we are looking at some additional charges some time down the road."



Neighbours of Mr Reeve's family on leafy Priors Way said they were "devastated" by the news.



The gunman, who attacked other customers in the bar, hitting them either with his fist or handgun, took purses, wallets and money from the bar's cash register and forced one woman to remove some of her clothing, said officers.



The Foreign Office said it was providing consular assistance to the family.



Mr Reeve died at Northwest Texas Hospital. A post-mortem examination was later performed in Lubbock.

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