Restaurant opens after fatal shooting

Local

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – A restaurant in Garden City has reopened just days after the owner was fatally shot.

Four of the seven sisters of victim Ernest Ortiz worked together Monday to reopen El Conquistador. 

“We have to do this for the community, we have to do this for family, we just have to do this so we know that Ernie is happy that we didn’t forget that this restaurant meant so much,” said Barbara Ortiz Bowen, one of the sisters.

The sisters said they opened the restaurant so soon because they knew their brother wouldn’t want to see it shut down.

“We can feel his presence and the good thing about all of that is we know that he’s been with us,” said Carol Ortiz Ramos, another sister.

The restaurant was packed Monday morning and the flow of people didn’t let up.

The sisters describe the restaurant as the community’s gathering place.

“This is home and not to see Ernie not going to be here any more is going to be hard on each and everyone of us because he made this home to us,” said sister Betty Jo Ortiz.

Another sister, Annette Ortiz, said she and Ernie worked together at the restaurant. She hopes to keep it up and running, even after this week. 

“We’ll take things just one day at a time,” she said.

The sisters say they are only accepting cash this week, until they have the means to accept other payments.

The Garden City Police Department believes Ortiz was killed during a possible robbery. They are looking for the killer.

If you have information that could help, call GCPD at (620) 276-1300, or text: GCTIP to Tip411. You can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (620) 275-7807.

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