San Diego

Local Restaurant Employees Move Forward After Surviving Gilroy Shooting

North Park restaurant workers are trying to get back to normalcy after surviving the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

“It’s disgusting knowing that an event with a lot of family and all that can be subject to something like this,” said Buelna.

North Park restaurant Flavors of East Africa was packing up their booth at the festival when the shooting started.

They heard gun fire and cries for help.

The San Diego native and his team of cooks survived by hiding under their booth.

Three people died including two children. A dozen other people were injured.

“I’m definitely a lot more alert since the whole incident,” explained Buelna.

Buelna’s job focuses on getting the restaurant exposure at popular festivals and fairs but following the recent mass shootings he's thinking more about security.

“It's a little bit tricky because we're always looking for places with high population and you always have to wonder if maybe someone is looking at places with high population for the wrong reasons,” he said.

One popular destination for the East African eatery is the Ocean Beach Farmer's market.

“OB in general is always very friendly and the market also has a lot of security there, so we usually do feel safe out there in Ocean Beach,” said Buelna.

While Buelna’s sense of security has been tested this past week and a half, he hopes they can move forward, as he and his team are now among the hundreds considered survivors of a mass shooting.

“We've got to just enjoy life and still kind of go out and enjoy festivals and have fun,” he said. “And hope that love will trump evil.”

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