Ex-employee arrested in Waffle House shootings

Published March 13, 2002|Updated Sept. 2, 2005

Authorities have arrested a former Waffle House employee and his roommate in the fatal shootings of two restaurant workers and the wounding of a third during an attempted robbery early Monday.

The former employee, Jimmy E. Mickel, 32, was arrested late Monday at his Davie mobile home.

Early Tuesday, Mickel's roommate Gerhard Set Hojan, 26, of Davie was taken into custody at his parents' home in Lee County. Both are charged with attempted murder, attempted armed robbery and two counts of first-degree murder.

After the Monday assault, Barbara Nunn, 38, bleeding profusely from a head wound, trudged 100 yards to a gas station to ask the attendant to call police.

Police found the bodies of waitress Christina Delarosa, 17, and cook Willy Absolu, 28, in the restaurant's freezer.

Nunn recognized Mickel and Hojan, authorities said, and said Hojan was the one who shot her and her co-workers after they were marched into the freezer. Autopsies showed that Delarosa and Absolu each were shot once in the head and once in the throat, according to a police arrest report. Nunn was shot once in the head.

Mickel had quit his job at the restaurant two months ago.

Nunn remains at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood after surgery.

Delarosa, a high school dropout and teenage mother, was working to save money so she and her 6-month-old son could move out of her parents' Davie home.

Absolu was trying to raise money for his wife and two children in Haiti, left behind when he emigrated about two years ago. He held a day job cutting hair at a barbershop in Plantation.

Nunn had come to the area with two children in June to start a new life. Imprisoned in Iowa 18 years ago for stabbing her boyfriend to death, Nunn won parole in 1991. She did two more years for theft in the late 1990s.

David Robinson, 18, of Miramar, a host at Waffle House, said he hadn't noticed any friction between Mickel and his co-workers before Mickel quit his waiter job. He had since come by, with Hojan, to eat and chat with the boss.

The victims were alone at the time of the shooting.

_ The Associated Press, Knight Ridder Newspapers and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report.