ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Food truck operators began collecting donations and gathered to pay their respects to the family of a 65-year-old food truck operator killed by two men during a robbery.
Orange County deputies said Mireya Averado was shot inside her food truck that was parked along East Colonial Drive near Semoran Boulevard at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. She was one of the many lone food trucks that have been mainstays along Semoran and Orange Blossom Trial for years.
Averado ran food truck late at night and many of her customers trickled over from Oblivion nightclub next door.
Dozens gathered in front of Averado's home to pay their respects. Her husband, Roliando Carrosquel, described her as "An excellent person, a good mother, a good wife and a great daughter."
Averado and her husband spent their life savings on the truck. Carrosquel said he will eventually open back up but said he's focusing on funeral arrangements for now.
Averado parked her truck near David Parks' business, who says he witnessed her reach out to those in need multiple times.
"People would come by if they were hungry she would feed them," Parks said. "If they didn't have any money she would give them a little something to eat a little something to drink. That's just the kind of person she was."
Loyal customers like Porfirio Gomez stopped by the food truck Sunday night to pay respects. He fears her line-of-work put her in danger.
"She was, in a way, exposing herself to something like this happening to her because being out here at that time of the night, early in the morning, by herself," said Gomez.
But food truck supporters like Mark Baratelli, who created the Food Truck Bazaar, disagrees that food trucks are a target.
"Every business is susceptible to burglaries; look at 24 hours restaurants, look at banks. Burglars are going to try to steal from anybody. They're not targeting food trucks," said Baratelli.
News of the killing spread quickly at the Food Truck Bazaar at the Fashion Square Mall. Each truck collected donations to go to the victim's family.
Food truck operators said they know the dangers -- real or perceived.
"You're always kind of looking over your shoulder," said Virginia Rohrborn, who runs the Winter Park Fish Co. truck.
With two killers on the run, she pays attention to her surroundings and operates her truck around other trucks.
"I think it's smart that if you do do late night hours, you need to buddy up and work with other trucks," said Baratelli.
Deputies said there were few witnesses because of heavy rains overnight; however, one witness saw the two men running from the scene around the time of the shooting.
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