Employees describe shooting at Cheesecake Factory in Tukwila

TUKWILA, Wash. — Tukwila Police are still looking for suspects after a woman was shot in the leg in Tukwila. It happened at the Cheesecake Factory outside the Westfield Southcenter Mall.

Police say they got a call on Tuesday evening that “a dispute had escalated to gunfire.”

Employees said it was a traumatic experience that they watched unfold inside the restaurant.

“Suddenly, everyone from the back of the house was coming down the line at me, yelling ‘move, go, run, run,’” said Cheesecake Factory employee Jared Braswell. “I made my way outside as people were finding hiding places along their way, and that’s when I got outside and then I heard four more shots.”

Coworker Brandon Diaz, said he saw the fight firsthand.

“I thank God for being alive today,” said Diaz. “I was this close to getting shot.”

He said a fight between at least two men escalated from outside in the parking lot to inside the restaurant. He believes that’s when the men pulled out their guns and began to shoot.

Diaz said a customer was caught in the crossfire.

“She was just sitting at a table, and then she got shot. I just hope she’s OK,” he said.

“When we came in after all of it, she was still in there lying on the floor,” says Braswell.

The woman was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, according to Tukwila Police.

The shooters fled before police arrived and as of Wednesday evening, no arrests had been made.

As for the Cheesecake Factory, it was business as usual on Wednesday, with a steady stream of customers and several employees returning to work.

“We should feel safe here, and we all deserve to be able to go out in public in this country and eat with our families. That should be a given,” said Diaz.

But employees still have moments of unease.

“There are other bullet holes still in that restaurant. And they opened it this morning, and there’s people dining in there right now,” said Braswell. “Literally, anyone can walk in and shoot a gun. We don’t have security or someone guarding the doors.”