Employee killed, two wounded in shooting at Mexican restaurant

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Houston saw several restaurant robberies Wednesday night. Two involved 24-hour diners, in which armed robbers demanded cash, but never firing their weapons.

But what happened late Wednesday night at a neighborhood restaurant on Memorial near Dairy Ashford was different -- and deadly.

At 10pm, in an alley that runs behind the strip center where La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant, police say a pair of men walked toward a kitchen worker who was standing outside.

The employee was shot. Then the men, said to be in their 20s, both slim and of medium height, went into the restaurant kitchen. Two workers were shot multiple times. The robbers stole a wallet from one of the victims.

They never entered the dining area, but police say some customers hid or ran out of the business after hearing the gunshots.

The two men ran as well. No witnesses recall seeing a getaway car.

The crime became capital murder Thursday morning, when one of the wounded workers died from the gunshot injuries.

A co-worker, who did not want to be identified or speak on camera, said the man had been a dishwasher at the restaurant for 26 years. The man had family, but they live out of the country.

La Hacienda opened on Thursday, but some of the employees, after hearing a co-worker had died, were understandably upset.

The restaurant has been a fixture on Memorial drive for 41 years, until now, without problems. Reunions, certainly for Stratford High School, have been held there. Proposals made at the tables.

On Thursday, Kevin Slattery brought flowers to the restaurant with a sympathy note attached. "My parents eat here once a week," he said. "A lot of us are heartbroken about what happened."
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