Employees shot outside Galleria area restaurant

Two were shot outside a restaurant during a robbery, and those who frequent the area say the increased crime has them on edge
March 12, 2014 8:12:30 PM PDT
A local woman is fighting for her life after being shot in the head while leaving work overnight.

Police say she and a co-worker were approached and attacked outside Adair Kitchen, the Galleria-area restaurant where they worked. The suspects remain on the run.

Witnesses told police they heard gunfire around 11:30pm. When officers got to the parking lot at the corner of Sage and San Felipe, they found a man and woman, both suffering from gunshot wounds.

"The female is in critical condition," said Steve Straughter with HPD homicide.

Cook Estela Renteria, 31 is undergoing surgery, with a gunshot wound to the head. Diswasher Jose Amador-Vasquez, 20, has been released from the hospital after being shot in the arm.

They had just gotten off work and were talking next to their vehicles, one of which was this motorcycle, when they were approached by the suspects. Authorities say the suspects stole a cell phone and some cash from them.

"I'm shocked, I mean, for that to happen in this area," said shopper Roman Bernal.

People that work, live or shop around the Galleria say crimes like this keep them on their toes.

"Trying to more aware of who's around, and having your keys available," added shopper Thao Costis.

People living in the area say this is just the latest violent event to happen there in recent memory.

"This is now touching everything around me ? it's touching all the people I know and now it's touching me. It's not OK," Afton Oaks resident Jim Pearson said.

Chef Kiran Verma says crime has hit rock bottom. Last week, a group of suspects beat up her valet and stole his cell phone.

"Of course business wise it's one of the best places you can ask for, but security wise, I'm scared," Verma said.

Down the street, Pearson received notice of a neighbor's brutal attack.

"One of the dads was hit in the morning with a crowbar and they took his Suburban," he said.

Police are still looking for the suspects in Tuesday's shooting, who they say are two men. They're not sure if they took anything from the victims, but they are considered armed and dangerous.

Investigators will be checking surveillance video from businesses in the area to see if any cameras picked up anything.

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