By Oralia Ortega

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A day after Monday’s deadly shooting that claimed the life of Lester Reid, 36, Chili’s workers returned to their Miami Gardens restaurant to hold a candlelight vigil.

“We are one big family.  We spend more time here than our own family,” said an unidentified man during the vigil.

Miami Gardens police said Reid, a cook at Chili’s, died after being shot in the kitchen area Monday afternoon.

The shooting happened at the restaurant located off NW 198th Street and 2nd Avenue.

Friends, co-workers and former co-workers were on hand to remember Reid.

“This just goes to show what kind of person he was. It speaks for itself,” said a former co-worker, who did not want to share her name. “He was a good father, a good friend, a good co-worker.”

chilis shooter mug Friends & Co Workers Hold Vigil For Chili’s Employee Shot To Death

Mugshot of Arutro Exum, who was arrested following a deadly shooting at a Miami Gardens Chili’s restaurant. (Source: Miami-Dade Corrections)

Police have charged Arturo Exum, 31, with first degree murder.

Exum was booked into the county jail after turning himself into Miami Gardens police Tuesday morning.

Police said Exum stormed into the restaurant Monday and shot the victim.

They said Exum’s girlfriend, a Chili’s server, called him to complain about a fight she had with Reid.

Exum was on probation for once threatening to kill his girlfriend, but the two were together despite the violent past.

William Webb, a fellow cook, said Reid who moved to South Florida from New Jersey, worked hard to support a large family.

“He was a family man.  He had 8 kids,” said Webb.

On Facebook, Reid’s friends posted emotional messages.

“My heart is broken right now,” wrote one.

“His memory will live on in all of us,” said another.

The restaurant remains closed as the investigation continues.

A sign that read “We are closed in an effort to take care of and support our team members,” was posted on the door.

Chili’s released a statement in response to the shooting:

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic situation and the loss of one of our Team Members. We are doing everything we can to fully cooperate with the police and fire and rescue teams who were so quick to respond.”

Fellow cook William Webb remembers the victim as a hardworking family man who was supporting 8 children.

“He was an excellent worker.  My condolences to his family and friends” said Webb.

  1. Dana Brown says:

    I think the female worker that instigated this should also be charged… 1) She knew he was violent and had a weapon. 2) More likely than not she lied about her version of events to inflame the situation. 3) She knew in advance that the violent felon was coming to her job and warning anyone that a crazy person was on the way there. Chili’s should have fired her already. She should be under arrest too and in jail along with him!

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