Arrest made in connection with fatal, point-blank shooting outside Manhattan bar

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- New York City police have arrested a man in connection with a fatal shooting of a stranger outside a bar in Midtown Manhattan last week.

Christopher Rivas, 30, was taken into custody Wednesday morning. He's facing charges of murder, criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of marijuana.

Police said Rivas allegedly shot 33-year-old Perseus Salichs outside the Tonic Bar on Seventh Avenue near Times Square at about 3:50 a.m. on December 18.

Salichs had gone to the club for a holiday party with friends, and as he was leaving he encountered a man and woman who were outside of the club. The woman appeared upset and the man was trying to calm her down with little success.

Salichs somehow became involved and then got into a dispute with the gunman. Police say the gunman showed he had a gun and soon after pulled the weapon out and shot Salichs in the head.

There were several people outside, including a woman who ran to help, saying the victim had been shot in the forehead.

"I took his pulse and there was a pulse that was very faint, and the ambulance was there within a couple of minutes to take him," the woman said. "I had him in my arms. I was also trying to help the woman who was with him."
Salichs was pronounced dead at the hospital.

"He should not have died like that," the victim's aunt, Marisol Salichs said. "I cannot make anything of this right now."

The gunman took off running.

Given the brazenness of the shooting, detectives initially suspected the gunman and victim knew each other. But after interviewing witnesses, including the woman, it is now believed she is the common denominator and the two were strangers.

"He actually wanted to me to go down to the bar with him, but I was so busy," said friend Edwin Lopez, who considered Salichs to be a big brother. "He was just one of the good people who always stuck by and helped me out, whether I was hungry, hurt, sick...He always showed me the ropes. When my mom passed, his mom was like my mom. He showed me, you know, this is how you put a bank account together. This is how you put a tie together."
Salichs, a father of three girls, worked at a nearby Buffalo Wild Wings and was with other employees who were apparently invited to the bar by Tonic employees.

Police interviewed witnesses who were in the area at the time and went to nearby stores searching for surveillance video.

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