CLEVELAND — At the restaurant where she had worked since 2014, the coworkers of a woman killed on New Year’s Day are remembering the person she was.
Erika Miranda worked at Barrio in Tremont, where she’d worked her way up to become an assistant kitchen manager, according to HR manager Stacy Dever.
“She was extremely hardworking and well-respected,” Dever said.
At the Tremont location of the restaurant, Miranda’s photo is propped above the bar, surrounded by flowers and candles. Dever, speaking on behalf of the Tremont team, said Miranda will be missed.
“She was fun-loving and she was a caretaker. She was very caring about people,” Dever said.
Dever said the staff was “absolutely devastated” by Miranda’s death.
Miranda was killed just after midnight New Year’s Day on Merrill Avenue. According to Cleveland police, who arrested Miranda’s boyfriend, the couple was having a New Year’s Eve gathering and the suspect was “popping off” rounds to celebrate. At some point, Miranda was shot.
“It’s sad that the first homicide in our city was somebody who’s so close to me and to those who work in this building,” Councilman Matt Zone said Monday at the city council meeting.
Zone is Miranda’s uncle, one of her many heartbroken relatives. He said in a Facebook post that the family appreciates the time to grieve and will not be commenting on Miranda’s death until the investigation is complete.
“It’s been tough on our family,” Zone said at Monday’s meeting.
It’s been tough on Miranda’s work family at Barrio, too.
“It’s a huge loss to our team, our kitchen and the restaurant as a whole,” Dever said, adding that staff members will miss Miranda’s “hard work, her go-get-it attitude. She was a person that was really dependable and would get the job done.”
In her memory, Barrio is accepting donations from customers at all of its locations, especially the Tremont location, where Miranda worked. Barrio is also making its own matching donation. All of the money will be given to Erika’s family.
And, in her honor, that photo hanging above the bar is a tribute to Miranda’s personality and to the restaurant’s theme.
“The Day of the Dead, to respect those and honor those,” Dever said. “And so that’s really our goal by having her photo in remembrance of her.”