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Las Vegas bartender’s death ruled a homicide

Updated October 20, 2021 - 3:14 pm

The death of a bartender after a fight with an intoxicated patron was ruled a homicide Tuesday.

Mark Heilman, 60, of Las Vegas, died April 26 at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and a “recent physical altercation,” according to the coroner’s office, which said his death was ruled a homicide.

Heilman worked the swing shift as a bartender at Champagnes Cafe, 3557 S. Maryland Parkway. Owner Greg Sims said Heilman refused to serve an intoxicated man who went behind the bar and started a “scuffle.”

“Mark had a bad heart, and almost immediately after it was over, he had trouble breathing,” Sims said. “From the time the guy walked in the door to the time the paramedics walked in the door was 20 minutes.”

Heilman’s husband, Lawrence Guerra, set up an online fundraiser after his partner’s death. Guerra said Heilman was the youngest, and last living sibling, among five children.

“He was very proud of being a professional bartender/server in Las Vegas for over 35 years and his customers were his biggest fans,” Guerra wrote in the post. “They would stop in from around the country to wherever he was working to see him when they visited. His locals knew they could always hear a new story about “Old Vegas” when they came in.”

Guerra said the couple would have celebrated 25 years together in May.

Las Vegas police could not be reached for comment. It was unclear if any arrests had been made in connection with the killing.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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