Phoenix caterer recalls the moment team got caught in crossfire of deadly shooting

The owner of Tacos El Buen Gusto says her team was working at the graduation party when someone began shooting.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 5:13 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A shooting broke out at a graduation party in west Phoenix Thursday night. One man died, and two women were injured. As detectives searched for the shooters, Arizona’s Family spoke to the woman who catered the party.

The owner of Tacos El Buen Gusto says her team was dodging bullets. None of them were hurt though it was a close call. But emotionally, it will be a while before they feel safe catering events again. She says the shooting will change how they run their daily business operations. “I can’t believe this. I can’t believe this. This is for sure traumatizing,” the owner said.

What started as a graduation party turned into a nightmare. “I hope that not only myself but my team can get past this,” she said.

The owner says her night catering started like it always does until she got a call. “I said, what’s wrong? He said, just please come, come, come,” she said. Her employees were working at a party off 51st Avenue and McDowell Road when they were caught in the crossfire. “He said yes, we’re okay, but there are people that are down. You know, that got shot,” she said.

A witness tells Arizona's Family that 30 to 40 people were at a graduation party outside a Phoenix home when a gray vehicle drove up and start shooting.

According to Phoenix Police, the victim was identified as 26-year-old Felix Espino-Garcia. The other two, both women, are still in the hospital. “I’ve been in this business for 20 years, and never have I seen something like this. And never in a million years would I think something like this would happen to us,” she explained.

There were at least a dozen bullet holes at the scene. “All our windows are pretty much shattered,” she said. One of the bullets grazed her employee. “It did leave a burn on his chest. Just to think that if he were forward one inch, that bullet would have got him,” she explained.

Other bullets are scattered around the yard, which is still decorated for the celebration. Some hit the catering equipment. “I’m really terrified now. I just want to be more conscious. Trying to find ways to be more prepared. We won’t cater out in the front yard anymore. Maybe just the backyard,” she said.

Now, the owner is heartbroken for this family and her team. “Them being my staff, I just want to protect them as best as possible. We are here just trying to make a living,” she said.

Phoenix police are still looking for the suspects. They’re asking for anyone with any information to come forward or call Silent Witness.

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