Family members re-open Garden City restaurant following owner's murder

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP/KWCH) Tuesday, September 17, 2019

(Source: Ernie Ortiz/Facebook)

5:25 p.m.

Ernie Ortiz's siblings say when they decided to re-open El Conquistador restaurant in Garden City, the line of people waiting out front was overwhelming. Still, they say it's that kind of community support that makes them work so hard to keep their brother's legacy alive.

Garden City Police arrested Marcus William Roady Monday morning for murder in Ernie's death. He's being held in the Finney County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder.

The Ortiz family says after their brother was killed they weren't sure if they would ever re-open, but they knew it's what he would've wanted.

"I cannot even in my heart show what they've done for this family, for this community. The way we took it, they took it the same way. They're like family. Every last one of them," said Barbara Jean Ortiz-Brown, Ernie's sister.

"We can't let it affect us in a negative way. Because Ernie's memory will always live within us. Every day there's something about Ernie we will always remember," said Ernie's other sister, Carol Ortiz-Ramos.

El Conquistador will be open through Wednesday. After that, Ernie's family says they will take time to figure out the restaurant's future in Garden City.


9:45 a.m.

Police in Garden City have made an arrest in the death of restaurant owner Ernie Ortiz.

According to police, 31-year-old Marcus William Roady was arrested early Monday morning.

Police described Roady as a "transient".

He was booked into the Finney County Jail on one count of First Degree Murder.

According to the Kansas Department of Corrections, Roady had prior convictions including intent to sell or cultivate near a school, possession and criminal damage to property.

Garden City police say the investigation is ongoing.


Friday, September 13, 2019

Eyewitness News Friday afternoon met with Ernest Ortiz's younger brother. Ortiz died from injuries in a Thursday-night shooting.

His family and people in Garden City remember the man who went by "Ernie" as a leader in the community. His brother says he still needs to process what happened,

He says Ernie was loved by everyone who knew him and he can't imagine anyone would intentionally set out to harm him. Ernie's brother hopes someone who knows something that could lead police to an arrest in this case will come forward.

Garden City police say their preliminary investigation leads them to believe the deadly shooting happened during a robbery and they ask anyone with information on what happened to Ernest Ortiz to come forward.

No suspects are in custody. Anyone with additional information about the shooting is asked to call the Garden City Police Department at (620) 276-1300 or Crime Stoppers at 620-275-7807.


11 a.m.

A man is dead after being shot outside a Garden City restaurant Thursday night.

Officers responded just before 11 p.m. for a report of a person down at the El Conquistador near Buffalo Jones Avenue and Bancroft Street.

When officers arrived, they found a man lying on the east parking lot entrance with gunshot wounds. He was taken to St. Catherine Hospital where he later died.

Police identified the victim as 69-year-old Ernest Ortiz of Garden City.

"The preliminary investigation has revealed that this could be a possible robbery," said Captain Randy Ralston.

No suspects are in custody. Anyone with additional information about the shooting is asked to call the Garden City Police Department at (620) 276-1300.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Authorities are investigating a deadly shooting outside a western Kansas restaurant.

Police responded around 11 p.m. Thursday to a report that the victim was lying on the ground at the El Conquistador restaurant in Garden City. The victim was pronounced dead at a hospital. Police aren't immediately releasing the victim's name, pending notification of relatives.

Police say no suspects are in custody.

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9/13/2019 8:05:50 AM (GMT -5:00)