Employee stabbed to death at Tilted Kilt in downtown Phoenix

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by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on November 25, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 27 at 6:23 PM

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police said an employee at the Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery in downtown Phoenix was killed by another employee Monday morning.

Sgt. Trent Crump said Javier Romero, 23, attacked Miguel (Mike) Angel Hernandez, 26, in the kitchen of the restaurant located near Central Avenue and Jefferson Street.

"It occurred in the kitchen area," Crump said. "Others heard the commotion and went to that location. We had one individual that was down in the kitchen and it appears he has been stabbed a few times."

Evidence and witness statements suggest that Romero attacked the victim without provocation, according to police.

Police said Romero had minor stab wounds on his arms, which were self-inflicted.

There were five or six other employees in the restaurant when the incident occurred.

"When you have a business, that's like your house and you have something like that going on that's crazy, it's scary," said Justin Piazza, who owns a nearby pizza restaurant. "It could happen anywhere. I mean, any business someone could be disgruntled employee or just have a bad day and come in that's why you have to be careful the kind of people that you hire."

Romero was combative with police throughout the day. He even attempted to take an officer's gun while being treated at the hospital.

Romero is being booked into the Maricopa County jail on charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault on a police officer.
 
The motive for the stabbing and the suspect's behavior is still unknown at this point.

Hernandez worked at the restaurant since it opened about three years ago.

"He was always smiling," said Tilted Kilt server Breanna Fox about Hernandez. "He was one of my favorite cooks there." 

"The girls have been calling me all morning crying and sobbing. It's been a real rough day," said Tilted Kilt server Annie Troff. "He just always wanted to be happy, wanted to make sure everybody was happy around him, real gentle soul."

The restaurant will be closed until Friday at 11 a.m.

Tilted Kilt statement:

“Tilted Kilt is saddened by the terrible tragedy that occurred at the Phoenix Pub the morning of November 25th. We are grieving the loss of a valued long time employee. We are supporting the Phoenix Police Department in their ongoing death investigation. Out of respect for the families involved and our employees, the Downtown Pub will be closed until Friday morning, November 29th at 11:00 am. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. Additionally, Tilted Kilt is also working closely with our employees, offering grief counseling sessions as needed, as they deal with this tragic situation.”

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