Man pleads guilty to shooting, killing 2 Sonic Drive-In employees in deadly restaurant attack

This undated file photo provided by the Sarpy County Jail shows Roberto Silva Jr., of Omaha,...
This undated file photo provided by the Sarpy County Jail shows Roberto Silva Jr., of Omaha, Neb. On Monday, March 7, 2022, Silva pleaded guilty to killing two workers and injuring two others at a Nebraska fast-food restaurant in the fall of 2021. (Sarpy County Jail via AP, File)(AP)
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 12:28 PM CST
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BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP/Gray News) — A man pleaded guilty to killing two workers and wounding two others at a Nebraska fast-food restaurant.

The Sarpy County attorney says Roberto Silva Jr. pleaded guilty Monday to all 15 charges related to the Nov. 21, 2020, shooting at a Sonic Drive-in restaurant in the Omaha suburb of Bellevue.

The plea means Silva’s case won’t go to trial, but Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov says he still plans to seek the death penalty.

Silva faced two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and arson. He was accused of setting fire to a U-Haul truck that he had driven to the Sonic Drive-in and then entered the restaurant and shot the workers. When officers arrived, they found the U-Haul ablaze and four victims in the business.

The deceased employees were identified as Nathan Pastrana, 22, and Ryan Helbert, 28. The two surviving but injured victims were ages 18 and 25 at the time of the shooting.

Three days prior to the deadly attack, on Nov. 18, 2020, employees at the same Sonic Drive-In called police on Silva for “fraudulent activity” for allegedly trying to use another person’s Sonic app account to purchase $57 worth of food. After a short investigation, Silva was arrested and booked into jail. He was released on bond Nov. 20 and committed the deadly attack on the restaurant the next day.

A Sonic Drive-In spokesperson told WOWT that Silva was not an employee and never was.

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