Man in burning car may be restaurant gunman

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 7:31 AM

North Richland Hills restaurant shooting

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NORTH RICHLAND HILLS – The man wanted for shooting two employees at a North Richland Hills restaurant on Tuesday afternoon may have been found in a burning car hours later.

One of the men at the Hunan Wok restaurant at 5142 Rufe Snow Drive died.

Now investigators want to know whether the gunman set his own car on fire in a parking lot on the shore of Benbrook Lake. A man in that car was pulled out alive but badly burned at around 6:30 p.m., and police suspect that car was the one used by the man involved in the shooting.

The shooting was so fast, workers had no time to react.

"The guy carried the gun close to me, and I was really shocked; I only saw the gun," said a woman who was in the kitchen at Hunan Wok when the gunfire rang out. She did not wish to be identified.

The woman said a former disgruntled co-worker returned for revenge, walking into the kitchen through the back door just before 3 p.m. and opening fire – shooting two people who were just feet away from her.

"The only good thing is, he didn't kill me," the witness said. "I think he had some target; he knew what he wanted to do there. I was there; the boss was there; he saw us and he left. It was the strangest thing."

One man was killed; another was shot multiple times.

Joe Dominguez said he saw one victim bleeding from his head and his arms. North Richland Hills police said the restaurant was open during the incident and customers, were eating inside.

The female witness said the gunman was a former cook who quit almost a year ago. He shot a co-worker he had often fought with, the woman said.

But why he returned after so long... and why he spared others remains unclear.

"I'm lucky, I'm really lucky," the witness told News 8. "I don't know... he was really nice to me. I try to be nice with everyone."

The man who was pulled from the vehicle was taken to the Parkland Memorial Hospital burn unit in Dallas with serious burns, but police were not releasing much information about him.

Email jbetz@wfaa.com

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