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Suspect in Manchester restaurant shooting surrenders

June 02. 2014 8:50PM

MANCHESTER — A man wanted for shooting another man in an early morning melee inside an Elm Street restaurant last month surrendered to police on Friday afternoon.

Police also arrested two other men in connection with the 2 a.m. incident May 24 at the USA Chicken and Biscuit Restaurant, 990 Elm St.

Investigators had obtained arrest warrants for Kyree Rice, 22, of 6 Boucher St., on felony charges of first-degree assault and reckless conduct and a misdemeanor of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Rice is accused of shooting Curtis Clay, 42, who was treated at the Elliot Hospital. Court documents show Clay was shot once through his right bicep, crossing into the side of his body, and once through his left shoulder, in a downward direction towards his heart.

Clay was shot after a woman was pushed to the floor inside the restaurant and a large fight broke out, according to investigators.

Also arrested were Raheem Rice, 36, of Manchester and Rudy Vasquez, 39, of Lawrence, Mass. Raheem Rice is charged with felony second-degree assault, while Vasquez is charged with one felony count of second-degree assault and two misdemeanor counts of simple assault.

A large group of family members and friends were in the gallery Monday morning for the arraigment of Kyree Rice in 9th Circuit Court, Manchester District Division.

Police prosecutor Sgt. Stephen Reardon requested $250,000 cash-only bail for Rice. Although Rice has no criminal record, Reardon said Rice committed a vicious crime, shooting an individual at point-blank range in a crowded restaurant. Reardon said at least two shots were fired, possibly three, and the victim was beaten while on the floor after being shot.

Court documents show Clay’s girlfriend drove him to the Elliot Hspital after the shooting. Given the crowded restaurant, Reardon said: “It’s a miracle that no one was killed.”

Reardon said the incident was captured on video surveillance. Court documents say the video shows Rice manually manipulating the slide on the handgun twice and also shows him tucking the gun into his waistband, under his black T-shirt as he leaves the restaurant. Two .40 caliber bullet casings and two unspent bullets were recovered at the scene.

Rice was represented by attorney Mary Ellen Biletch, who sought a low bail or personal recognizance bail, saying: “He cares for his two daughters while his wife works.”

Biletch said when Rice learned there was a warrant for his arrest: “He turned himself in Friday afternoon.”

She also questioned the severity of Clay’s injuries, saying he was not transported by ambulance to the hospital, and suggested he was not close to death.

“There are two sides to every story,” said Biletch. “The victim had attacked and fought with relatives of my client,” she said.

Judge William Lyons set bail at $200,000 cash/surety.

Police prosecutor Reardon successfully requested $100,000 cash-only for Vasquez, saying that while Vasquez’ six-page criminal history is mostly minor crimes: “The brutality warrants the bail.”

Vasquez is accused of punching the wounded man 13 times in the kidney area as he lay on the floor and of punching the victim’s girlfriend, Samantha Garan, in the face twice.

Vasquez, who was not represented by a lawyer at the arraignment, said: “I didn’t expect this to happen.” He said he didn’t hit anybody. “I was unconscious the whole time,” said Vasquez. “I didn’t even think I was gonna be a suspect.”

Probable cause hearings for both men on the felony charges were set for June 17 and trial on the misdemeanors was set for July 16.

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