By Todd Maisel
Gunfire erupted inside a Bronx Mexican restaurant on Monday morning, killing a 19-year-old woman and wounding two others, police officials said.
Police are investigating the possibility that this was a workplace dispute, as some of the people struck worked at the restaurant, including the teenager who was killed in the gunfire.
The gunfire erupted at 7 a.m. on Oct. 19 as customers and workers were having coffee, eating breakfast or working inside of Mex-Tec-Club at 2647 Jerome Avenue near 183rd Street in University Heights, the Bronx. The assailant apparently walked into a rear sitting area of the restaurant, with predominantly Spanish speaking customers, and began firing.
A customer, identified as Carlos Menchaca of the Bronx, said he was sitting inside the restaurant eating breakfast when the gunfire began.
“All of a sudden, I heard shots in the restaurant and I ran like hell to get out of there,” said Menchaca, adding that he didn’t stick around because he didn’t want to be a victim too.
The assailant apparently backed out of the restaurant after hitting the three, and fired an additional round outside, hitting a parked blue Honda Civic in front of the restaurant on 183rd Street, piercing the trunk. A spent shell was found outside the restaurant when cops arrived.
When police from the 52nd Precinct arrived, they found the young woman with a bullet wound to the torso; a 28-year-old man hit in the arm, and a 30-year-old man struck three times in various parts of his body. All three were raced to St Barnabas Hospital, where the young woman died of her wounds.
There were apparently no customers sitting in the outdoor seating area, which was not yet set up for business.
Police had Jerome Avenue closed down for a period of time as detectives combed the area for clues. It was not revealed if they know the person who fired the shots at this time.
Anyone with information regarding this shooting can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.