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Posted: 5/21/2002 5:32:40 PM EDT
Police tight-lipped in Mesa triple killing
3 employees are shot to death at Jack In The Box

By Senta Scarborough, Chris Fiscus and Christina Leonard
The Arizona Republic
May 21, 2002 12:00:00

Kenneth Brown wasn't supposed to be working Sunday night. But when he was called in at the last minute for the overnight shift at a Jack In The Box in east Mesa, he went, energized by expectations of a coming promotion.

Less than two hours after his girlfriend dropped him off, the 27-year-old Mesa father of three was dead, one of three employees fatally shot at the restaurant on Main Street near Lindsay Road.

"He was happy they were going to make him assistant manager. He just wanted to work and take care of his kids," said Larry Paige, Brown's stepfather. "He was a good worker. People always commented on how hard a worker he is."

After receiving a call at 11:39 p.m. Sunday about a robbery at the all-night restaurant, police found a female employee at the back door with a gunshot wound in the torso. She died at a hospital Monday morning.

Brown and another, unnamed, male employee were found inside the restaurant, dead from gunshot wounds.

Police said they have no suspects and a former assistant manager said the store had no security cameras.

Police heightened the mystery by refusing to give details about the crime, including whether the restaurant was robbed, how and where the men were killed, and the names and ages of the victims.

Sgt. Mike Goulet, a department spokesman, said that all the victims' families have been notified, but that releasing their names could hinder the investigation.

He said the crime is being investigated as a potential robbery-homicide, although no motive has been ruled out.

Paige said his stepson was a good father to his 6-year-old and 7-month-old sons and 4-year-old daughter.

Brown, a graduate of Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, was getting ready to go back to school, Paige said.

"He liked electronics, but I tried to talk him into being a chef because he is a real good cook," Paige said. "It has affected us all really bad."

Link Posted: 5/21/2002 5:34:41 PM EDT
Brown's mother, Yvonne Paige, said he was a good son and thoughtful man who was protective of his children and always helped his friends.

"I keep thinking he is coming home and he will be home. He was very thoughtful. I am going to miss him," she said.

Alex Guerrero, 27, who was an assistant manager at the Jack In The Box until eight months ago, said there are no security video cameras at the restaurant.

"We would always tell the owner to get cameras, but he always said he can't afford them," he said.

By Monday morning, relatives of the victims were arriving at the restaurant parking lot. One woman slumped over the trunk of a car, overcome with grief.

Sunday night's crime is the first multiple homicide of workers in the San Diego-based company's 51-year history, Jack In The Box corporation officials said Monday.

Restaurant owner Adel Farag is offering a $10,000 reward for the arrest or indictment of those responsible.

The neighborhood near the restaurant is a mix of palm tree-lined mobile home parks, restaurants frequented by senior adults, and paint, tire and auto parts stores. Just down the street are rows of RV dealerships and $139-per-week motels.

Many people in the area are of retirement age, including some who use their golf carts to get from their mobile-home parks to eat or shop. Some often came for breakfast at Jack In The Box.

But some who work and live nearby see a neighborhood that has changed for the worse in recent years.

They say an auto shop and convenience store in the area were recently robbed, and employees at Flynn's Carpet-Tile recounted numerous robberies in recent years.

"The neighborhood is nasty," said Robert Timberman, Flynn's warehouse manager. The business added cameras and an alarm system, though the troubles continue.

"The whole neighborhood is going down the hill. It has really decreased in the past three years," said Laura Bohorquez, 31, who used to live in the area and was there Monday with a friend. Not everyone agrees.

Mark Horvatich, an assistant manager at a nearby Sherwin-Williams paint store, said that while other stores near his have been robbed, "we've never had any problem whatsoever. It's a neighborhood I've never felt unsafe in."

The homicides shook the restaurant community.

Merrilyn Halverson, vice president of member services for the Arizona Restaurant Association, said the shootings "just made me sick. As part of the hospitality family, something like this hits us doubly hard."

Goulet urged anyone with information to call police at (480) 644-2211 or Silent Witness at (480) WITNESS.

People can donate to the victims' families at the CMAZ LLC Community Memorial Benefit Trust Fund, Wells Fargo Bank, Account No. 1936417805. Information: (480) 350-2424
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 5:42:36 PM EDT
Merrilyn Halverson, vice president of member services for the Arizona Restaurant Association, said the shootings "just made me sick. As part of the hospitality family, something like this hits us doubly hard."
View Quote

Simpletions like her and the memebers of her organization are responsible for killings like this happening.  You can't work at these places and carry a gun. Just a couple weeks ago there was a multiple murder at a Dominoes Pizza place. The criminals dont care if there are cameras or not, they dont care if you resist or not. They kill everyone there just if they feel like it that day. And the asshole companies that own these places wont let employees carry weapons to protect themselves.
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 7:06:41 PM EDT
All I can add to ArmdLbrl's post is - DITTO
Link Posted: 5/21/2002 7:59:00 PM EDT
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