Employees at Midland Restaurant React to Officer-Involved Shooting

Employees at Midland Restaurant React to Officer-Involved Shooting
35-year-old Nyocomus Garnett
35-year-old Nyocomus Garnett

by Kim Powell
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A gunman opened fire at La Bodega Restaurant in Midland on Friday night. An off-duty Midland Police officer, who happened to be eating there, stepped in and took action.

Holding back tears, Heriverto Villescas, who is an employee at the restaurant, recalled the harrowing moments when he was washing dishes and a man pointed a gun at him.

"I've never had a gun pointed at me or nothing, it was the first time I've had a gun pointing at me. And I was just in shock," Villescas said.

Disguised with a bandana over his face and a hood over his head, 35-year-old Nyocomus Garnett was looking for money and wanted to see the safe so he threatened employees and fired several shots.

"When he walked away, I started going under the table and I didn't want to move or nothing," Villescas said.

His coworkers had the same idea as they also stared down the barrel of the gunman.

Yjahire Marquez, a busser at La Bodega, said she ran into the kitchen when she heard bangs thinking someone had dropped something. She then saw her coworkers hiding and the next thing she knew, she was standing face to face with the shooter.

"I was in front of him and he was just shooting, asking for the safe. My reaction was just shock and I just ran and hide," Marquez said.

Samantha Sosa says if it wasn't for Marquez running out of the kitchen and grabbing her, there could be a different story.

"We just ran under some tables and hiding and he was just screaming at them," Sosa, who is also a busser at the restaurant, said.

As restaurant customers and employees scrambled, one man stepped forward, an off-duty Midland Police officer.

The Midland Police Department detective approached Garnett but he refused to follow orders. When Garnett raised his weapon, the officer shot at Garnett.

Garnett died on the scene.

La Bodega General Manager, Margarita Morales, says she is very grateful that no customers or employees were hurt all thanks to the officer.

"I'm very glad that he was here. Thank you and thank God that he was here," Morales said.