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Robbers Kill Employee of East San Diego Taco Shop

TIMES STAFF WRITER

One employee was killed and another was wounded in the holdup of a Taco Bell restaurant in East San Diego early Friday, authorities said.

Santos Nuno, 33, of San Diego, was pronounced dead about 1 a.m. at the restaurant, said George Dickason, a county medical examiner investigator.

Nuno was heard pleading for his life in Spanish by Lourdes Aquino, the store’s manager who was wounded in the arm, Lt. Dan Berglund said.

Three men and a woman, all in their 20s and armed with handguns, forced their way into the restaurant at 5070 Federal Blvd. about 12:35 a.m. while Nuno was taking out the trash and getting ready to help close the restaurant, Berglund said.

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One man pulled Aquino to the front of the restaurant and held her at gunpoint there. Aquino said she heard Nuno beg for his life, followed by one or two shots, and then three of the attackers ran out the rear door. The man who had held Aquino warned her not to call police, then followed the others out the back door, Berglund said.

Aquino went to the back of the store and found Nuno lying face down near the back door. When the man who had held her at gunpoint saw that she was at the door, he fired, hitting her in the arm, Berglund said.

She closed and locked the door, then ran out the front, Berglund said. A passing motorist found Aquino outside the restaurant, screaming that she had been shot. The passer-by took Aquino to Paradise Valley Hospital, where she was treated for the wound, Berglund said.

The attackers did not take anything from the restaurant, but escaped with about $300 from Aquino, Berglund said.

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There was no description of the men except that they were in their 20s, Berglund said. The woman who took part in the attack was described as black, about 6-feet tall, thin, with a blotch on one cheek, Berglund said.


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