NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – A restaurant owner is being hailed as a hero for his quick thinking after he jumped into action when a gunman came into his café.
It happened at the Dominican restaurant Gran Parada on Northwest 10th Avenue near Northwest 119th Street around 2:15 p.m. Sunday.
Massiel de Jesús Perez is the restaurant owner’s wife.
“Gracias a Dios mi esposo estaba allí” (“Thank God my husband was there),” de Jesús Perez said.
Surveillance video catches the incident as it played out. The gunman walks into the doorway and appears to be dancing to the music. About two minutes later, in a horrifying move, he pulls out a long gun and opens fire, hitting the ceiling, according to de Jesús Perez.
Then, the video shows Arnoldo Gonzalez jumping onto his feet from his seat on the bar and pushing the gunman out of the restaurant and onto the ground outside. You can see the gunman punching the owner repeatedly.
At some point, the gun did injure two customers – one was shot in the ankle and the other grazed by a bullet.
“Pudo quitar lo que tenía, el arma, y eso. Y ya no pasó a mayores. La policía llegó luego,” ("He was able to remove what he had, the gun, and stuff. And it no longer happened. The police came later. "), de Jesús Perez said.
The restaurant owner was taken to the hospital with injuries to his head and hands from the tussle. The two wounded customers were also transported to Jackson Memorial’s Ryder Trauma Center, and, at last check, they were in stable condition.
The restaurant has been in business for 30 years and de Jesús Perez said her husband always looks out for his customers.
“Él inmediatamente reaccionó, sacando a la persona, del negocio del local para que todos estuvieran bien,” de Jesús Perez said. He immediately reacted, she said, taking the person outside of the business so that everyone would be safe.
The gunman fled the scene after the incident. On Monday, detectives from Miami-Dade police were going door-to-door at other businesses in the shopping plaza to try to get more video that may help them track down the suspect.
Anyone with information on who the gunman is or where he might be is asked to called Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-8477.