An armed man stopped a potential mass shooting at a Birmingham, Ala., McDonalds Saturday afternoon. The unidentified man was leaving the restaurant with his two sons as a masked gunman entered and began firing. The father drew his pistol and returned fire, killing the gunman, but not before he and one of his teenage sons were shot.
The father and son sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the shoot-out, according to police.
Markus Washington, a McDonald’s employee on duty Saturday, told WBRC-TV that he locked himself in a freezer when the shooting began and was unaware one of his customers had engaged the shooter.
“I’m feeling grateful,” he told the station. “Wrapping my head around it all, I was just wishing someone would come wake me up from this nightmare.”
“All we hear is like different gunfire, so in my mind, I’m imagining everybody is dead. He’s looking for us,” he added.
Washington said he was thankful the man who confronted the gunman was armed.
“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.
Police are now trying to determine whether the gunman intended to rob the store or kill customers indiscriminately.
“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. “It’s not easy being a father and watching your child get injured, get hurt like that. It’s a really heart-wrenching experience.”