Las Vegas, Nevada, November 14, 2011 – Our community is shocked and saddened by the tragic shooting and loss of Phil Wells.

Phil Wells was a Bartender at The Garage, a local hangout spot for many in the Las Vegas LGBT Community, and a great supporter of Las Vegas PRIDE. Phil was one of the people that helped to make The Garage extra special. Guests knew that they would find Phil with a warm, sweet smile and a huge hug from the moment they walked through the door.

Phil lost his life early this morning after being shot to death by a man authorities believe to be Tracy Kauffman who is currently being held without bail. Kaufman faces charges of murder with a deadly weapon and burglary with a deadly weapon.

Ernie Yuen- President of Southern Nevada Association of PRIDE, Inc. said, “Everyone knew Phil. He was well liked, always smiling, a great bartender, and well respected by everyone in our community.” A memorial was set up outside The Garage in honor of Phil, there are also several candlelight vigils scheduled this week to honor this amazing person.

“We are shocked and terribly saddened by the news of his death,” Yuen said. “He was real, honest and a great person. His warm personality was a gift to us all. We will miss him terribly.”

On behalf of the Board of Directors, the entire LGBT Community, and our friends and families, we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to those who knew Mr. Phil Wells. We would also like to extend our sympathies to the staff and management team at The Garage.

As we reflect upon, acknowledge and honor the loss of our dear friend, we also hope at this time to demonstrate that Phil was an important and valued member of our Las Vegas Community. “Phil may you rest in peace, we all adore you and we will miss that amazing smile, we will miss you!”

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If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Ernie Yuen, please e-mail him at For more information about SNAPI or Las Vegas Pride, visit

The primary objectives and purposes of SNAPI are: To educate the general public to the needs and issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community; to provide educational outreach to persons directly or indirectly involved in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community; to advocate and facilitate the exchange of ideas and resources between the various non‐profit Nevada lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or related organizations; to promote a positive image of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and pride; to provide inclusive and diverse representation within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community; to recognize and celebrate the substantial achievements in our community.