Church’s Chicken reopens with tighter security after deadly shooting

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SAN DIEGO —  Church’s Chicken in Otay Mesa West reopened Wednesday, one week after a man opened fire inside the restaurant, killing an employee and wounding two others.

Now, management at the fast-food restaurant on Del Sol Boulevard is upping security. The restaurant manager told FOX 5 there were no surveillance cameras inside the restaurant at the time of the shooting. Ten new cameras were installed on Wednesday.

“I feel so happy now. If feel safer. I’m glad they did it,” a regular customer told FOX 5.

The added cameras come one week after an argument between employees and a customer turned deadly. According to police, employees refused to accept a $100 bill from a man because it is against company policy. Police said the bill was believed to be fake. The man walked out, but came back with a handgun and shot at employees, killing 28-year-old Ibanez and wounding two of her co-workers. 

A restaurant manager identified the two other employees as Mario Rojas and Umberto Ruiz. Ruiz was released from the hospital. Rojas was still in the ICU on Wednesday, according to a family friend.

“He’s been through a couple surgeries. I understand he still has a bullet lodged in his stomach. It’s just rough all the way around,” Ruben Torres told FOX 5.

Torres is working with Church’s Chicken to organize a community gathering. Torres works with a nonprofit called Love Thy Neighbor Movement. He said the peace gathering will include live music, inspirational speakers and local artists.

“Just gathering and restoring the peace and love that this community once had,”  Torres said. “We got to live in love, stand on truth and continue to live without fear.”

The community is invited to attend the gathering Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Church’s Chicken parking lot.

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