A larger tragedy was likely averted at an Alabama McDonald’s thanks to a brave father armed with a pistol.
A terrified employee of the Birmingham fast-food restaurant is thankful for the quick action taken by the armed customer on Saturday.
“I’m feeling grateful,” Markus Washington told WBRC TV. “Wrapping my head around it all, I was just wishing someone would come wake me up from this nightmare.”
Just before 11:00pm, a masked man allegedly burst into the McDonald’s and began shooting just as an employee was letting out a father and his two sons as the restaurant was closing.
“I was making two quarter-pounders and heard three shots ring, and then exchange of gunfire two more.” Washington, who hid in the freezer, said.
The unidentified father quickly returned fire and by the time the two had finished exchanging shots, the gunman, the father and one of his teenage sons had been wounded. WBRC-TV reported.
“All we hear is like different gunfire, so in my mind, I’m imagining everybody is dead. He’s looking for us,” Washington recounted.
The three were taken to the hospital where the gunman later died, according to WBRC. The injuries sustained by the father and son were reportedly not life-threatening and, according to police, the father will not be facing any charges.
“He’s my hero. Because I can only imagine how it would’ve went if he wasn’t armed. We might not be here having this interview,” Washington said.
Though the investigation is underway, it was not clear at the time of the report whether the alleged gunman was attempting to rob the restaurant, was targeting an employee or planned a mass shooting at the eatery, WIAT reported.
“Things like this are difficult for both families. The gentleman who unfortunately lost his life, the teenage boy who is in the hospital recovering from his injuries and the father who is also recovering from his injuries,” Birmingham police spokesman Sgt. Bryan Shelton said, according to WVTM.
“It’s not easy being a father and watching your child get injured, get hurt like that,” Shelton added. “It’s a really heart-wrenching experience.”
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