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Suspects in restaurant shooting arrested

By Ed Brock

Two men have been arrested in connection with multiple shootings at a Riverdale restaurant.

Brothers 29-year-old Jose and 18-year-old Alejandro Romo are now in jail in San Benito, Texas, according to the Clayton County Sheriff's Office. Police there arrested the two men on Sunday on charges of public intoxication.

Riverdale police want the Romo brothers in connection with a June 23 double shooting at the Salt and Pepper Fish House on Ga. Highway 138.

"As soon as extradition documents can be signed ... hopefully we'll have them back in our hands," Riverdale Assistant Police Chief Samuel Patterson said.

Two men entered the restaurant on that day around noon in what may have been a robbery attempt and shot the two employees who were there, 36-year-old Garret Lockhart of Stockbridge and 40-year-old Samuel Richardson of Tucker.

Lockhart survived and staggered outside the restaurant, collapsing in front of the store next door to his in the strip mall, Richardson was found dead inside, Patterson said.

A witness saw two men leave the restaurant, get into a black Jeep Cherokee and drive off. The Cherokee was recovered in Lawrenceville at the home of the vehicle's owner. The men then left in a Toyota RAV-4 owned by the same person, Patterson said.

After some investigation Riverdale police got a warrant for Jose Romo on charges of being a felon in possession of a handgun and unlawful possession of a firearm (namely a sawed-off shotgun) in connection with the shooting. The current warrants are for murder, according to the sheriff's office, and officials in Cameron County, Texas, have agreed to drop charges there in order to accelerate the extradition process.

"I would do everything I could to forestall the inevitable if it were me," Patterson said.

As for how the men got the Jeep and the RAV-4 from their owner, Patterson said only that the men visited a sister and girlfriend before leaving Georgia and that may have been part of the process of getting the vehicle.

No charges have been issued against the owner of the vehicle.

Lockhart is still in the hospital, Patterson said, but he is expected to recover.

"It looks like he's gaining strength," Patterson said.