Waitress back at work after flare gun shooting
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A waitress is back at work and a man is behind bars after he allegedly shot the woman with a flare gun.
The waitress, only identified as Angelica, returned to work late Friday afternoon with one of her arms in a sling. Co-workers said a customer shot the cafeteria worker with a flare gun after she apparently refused to pay for that customer's beer.
Lee Richardson witnessed police arresting the accused shooter and was shocked to hear his weapon of choice was something beyond a gun. "That's even worse because you might hit the person and it will explode on him," he said.
According to Miami-Dade Police, this happened at El Eden Restaurant off Southwest 190th Street, Friday morning. Before he aimed, police said, the attacker threw some sort of flammable liquid at Angelica, in an attempt to douse her in some sort of accelerant, but missed. When the flare hit her stomach, the man ran.
Derrick Matthews heard about the shooting while the culprit was at large. "First thing that came to my mind was, 'Is he on foot?' so this is the first place he's gonna run to," he said.
The suspected shooter ditched his red sport utility vehicle at a CVS on US 1 and Southwest 191st Street, a few blocks away from the restaurant. He then walked to US 1 Discount Mall nearby. The accused shooter surrendered at a store in the area, and police took him into custody. "Police everywhere surrounded the whole area," said Julio, a witness, "and they caught him right here, before he got inside the building."
Matthews said a man on the loose armed with a flare gun concerned him. "I went back inside and then I had to come back out, and there were a bunch of cars out here," he said. "So basically what I saw was the guy in the back seat [of the police cruiser], and it was kind of crazy, man. It was like frightening, man. Man, I was like so scared because I don't know what was going on."
Police said the alleged shooter was bitter over the impending end of a relationship with the waitress. When he demanded that woman pay for beer, she refused, and he became enraged. He allegedly left the cafeteria and then returned with a flare gun and flammable liquid, police said.
The first flare hit the glass door of a cooler leaving a large hole in the glass behind her. A second shot hit her on her side. Coworkers said she had burns on her stomach area. "They're really nice people," said a patron who frequents the restaurant. "One of their mottos is be nice to everybody. That's why I was surprised that one of these girls had an incident with a customer."
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue transported the victim to the hospital, but she would be released by the end of the day. She is expected to be OK.
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