Bakersfield police officers arrested a man Monday night on suspicion of stabbing a concert-goer to death Sunday evening after a Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony hip-hop show outside of the Fox Theater, police officials confirmed.
Efrain Ugues, 32, of Bakersfield, is suspected of repeatedly stabbing and killing 19-year-old Kasey Villegas, Bakersfield Police Department Sgt. Ryan Kroeker confirmed.
He was arrested on suspicion of homicide, conspiracy and gang charges Monday evening, Kroeker said.
A man by the name of Efrain Ugues born the same year as the murder suspect has a record dating back to 2004. Ugues pleaded no contest in 2009 to reckless driving, for which he served three years probation. He also had misdemeanor charges filed against him dismissed for prowling in 2004, possession of a controlled substance in 2005, hit and run in 2012, and drunk and disorderly conduct in 2015.
Police responded to the downtown concert venue just before 11 p.m. after receiving reports of a large fight that broke out outside the theater.
BPD officials said that both Ugues and Villegas had attended the hip-hop concert prior to the incident — something Fox Theater officials said they had not yet confirmed.
What is clear is that if those involved in the stabbing were concert-goers, they never brought weapons into the venue, said Vikki Peterson, first vice president on the Fox Foundation Executive Board.
All 1,050 attendees Sunday evening walked through metal detectors at the door, had baggage checked for contraband and were watched over by 10 security guards, Peterson said.
“We know if they were in there, they had to leave and go find the weapon that was used,” Peterson said.
Peterson acknowledged that extra security from Starstruck Entertainment was requested Sunday evening for the hip-hop show — a genre not ordinarily hosted at the Fox Theater, which more frequently caters to country performers, comedians, children’s movies and classic films.
“Security depends on what the genre of music is, who we expect to be attending, and it’s not profiling by any means, but it’s saying we’ve got to protect our patrons and the building. It’s a historical landmark,” Peterson said.
That security was needed.
On multiple occasions Sunday evening, groups of people who were getting rowdy were escorted off premises, Peterson said. She couldn’t give an exact number, nor could she confirm whether any of those asked to leave were involved in the violent altercation that took place just steps outside the theater.
About 10 minutes before the concert ended, a security supervisor and theater manager walked the perimeter to check the building. That’s when they saw a large fight starting in the American Legion Post 26 parking lot, just east of the theater.
The theater manager called the police, Peterson said. At that time, the group began migrating across the street, ending on the sidewalk outside the theater’s entrance, Peterson said.
“It pains the Fox Theater and the Fox Foundation greatly that there was a loss of life outside of the theater last night,” Fox Theater officials said in a prepared statement. “The theater was closed on Monday to honor the feelings of the victim’s family.”
Peterson said the theater is planning to review its processes in the future and “see what we can do on our side to try to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.”
Peterson added that while the Fox Theater has no hip-hop events booked for the immediate future, it would still consider booking such performers — including Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony.
“The genre of music had nothing to do with the altercation,” Peterson said. “This was caused by people — not music.”