Armed Dad Fearlessly Defends His Sons From McDonald’s Gunman

John Margolies via Flickr

Around 10:45 p.m. Saturday night in southwest Birmingham, Alabama, a dad and his two sons were leaving a McDonald’s. As they started to walk out the door, a masked man entered and opened fire in the restaurant. It’s not known whether the attacker was targeting someone or attempting a robbery.

According to a witness who was in the drive-through line, eight or nine shots rang out as people, including children, started running away. The witness then heard two more gunshots.

Those two were likely the dad’s, who returned fire after both he and one of his sons were wounded. The attacker is now dead. Dad and son sustained non-life-threatening injuries from which they’re expected to recover. Besides those three, no one else was injured during the shooting.

Markus Washington, an employee who barricaded himself in the freezer during the attack, recalled the terror he was feeling: “I was making two quarter-pounders and heard three shots ring, and then exchange of gunfire, two more… 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,” Washington added, “so in my mind, I’m imagining everybody is dead. He’s looking for us.”

He also had this to say about the dad:

“He’s my hero. I can only imagine how it would’ve went if he wasn’t armed. We might not be here having this interview… I’m feeling grateful.”

“Right now, it appears the victim made a decision that cost his life and the father made a decision that preserved his and children’s’ life,” said Birmingham PD spokesman Sgt. Bryan Shelton. “It’s not easy being a father and watching your child get injured, get hurt like that. It’s a really heartwrenching experience.”

Just another defensive gun use — this one by a concealed carrier — one of more than 1.1 million that happen every year in this country. As always, the best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.


  1. avatar Ken says:

    I’ve got an issue with the PD calling the bad-guy shooter a “victim”. Surely this guy will go on the anti’s list of “victims of gun violence”. Good for you good-guy-shooter dad. Hope you slept well that night. As an aside, I don’t think there’s been a McD’s that looks like the one above for 20 years now. 😉

    1. avatar Supermike says:

      Seems to be the norm these days… “there were 3 victims, including the shooter…”, etc. Always ticks me off. And stories like this won’t make CNN, etc. — they run counter to the movement.

      Also, where did TAG get that McDonald’s pic — 1960? The one pictured doesn’t even have inside dining! 😀

    2. avatar Michael Buley says:

      I noticed that, too — sorry ‘victim’ he was not. Dead attacker, he is. Hats off to this brave, and prepared, Dad.

    3. avatar Wood says:

      “I’ve got an issue with the PD calling the bad-guy shooter a “victim”.”

      AGREED. Perp, suspect, thug, walking garbage, etc. not victim. Dad and son are the victims here.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Luckily “decedent” also works here.

        1. avatar Wood says:

          Yes it does, that’s the word on the tip of my brain that I couldn’t type 😁

    4. avatar kevin says:

      there was one in California at least until 5 years ago

    5. avatar James W Crawford says:

      I don’t recall any police or journalists referring to the perpetrator of the Pittsburgh synogougue​ massacre as a victim.

      1. avatar Steven says:

        That’s probably because he wasn’t killed, but taken into custody.

  2. avatar Yarbles says:

    Obviously a trained CHL holder. Wounded and kept fighting.

    Saved the day with GOOD SHOT PLACEMENT!

    1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      Plenty of people can operate a firearm and successfully defend themselves without any training beyond the basic manual of arms, especially at point-blank range. Alabama does not require training as a condition of issuing a permit to carry.

      1. avatar Jim B says:

        I agree that is mostly true however, this particular guy was an NRA instructor.

        1. NRA instructors are a dozen of dimes and most of them are FUDDS.
          This guy was exceptional.

    2. avatar MilitantCentrist says:

      You might be surprised what people are capable of if their lives or those of loved ones are on the line. Training or no, pappa bear operated operationally that day.

  3. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    I noticed that the story is conspicuously absent from CNN.

    1. avatar Michael Buley says:

      Official stance: ‘All defensive uses of handguns that prove the critical importance of good guys carrying and using guns, not allowed to see the light of day.’

      Stance taken by virtually all mainstream media.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Michael Buley,

        Friendly suggestion: use the term “legacy media” rather than “mainstream media”.

        Not only is that term more accurate, it also reflects the fact that legacy media is arguably no longer mainstream.

  4. avatar Kap says:

    Don’t tell the Democrats, it might pop their bubble and drive them further into the Nut house of treason

  5. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

    “Right now, it appears the victim made a decision that cost his life and the father made a decision that preserved his and children’s’ life,”

    That just pisses me off, calling the perp a ‘victim’.

    Another thing just pissed me off – They are playing the 911 tapes of the Pittsburgh attack. One cop is making a radio call where, I shit you not, he actually says :

    “We have an operator down!”

    Great. That’s just fucking great. Cops are now ‘operators’. I wonder what the guys who are actually on the ‘teams’ think about that?

    1. avatar NotOperational says:

      They’re too busy operating operationally in operational areas of operation to care about non-operators calling themselves operators.

    2. avatar ROBERT Powell says:

      could have been telling the truth,,a democratic/communist operator.

      1. avatar Michael Buley says:

        Good point, Robert … we forget the obvious …

      2. avatar Wood says:

        I think the apropo term is “operative”.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    After he shot the BG, dad should have shot the fry cook. Bullets may kill you fast, but that Mickey D’s “food” will kill you slow.

  7. avatar B says:

    Circa 1975; McDonald’s introduced a spirit-lifting jingle: “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame-seed bun.” Now served with hot lead, and your choice of double or triple tap. Would you like to supersize that order for just 99 cents more?

    Suspect down! Call the meat wagon. No room in the freezer. Um, Can we get a McManager here?

    1. avatar LazrBeam says:

      I wonder if Markus Washington, who hid in the freezer, finished cooking the two quarter pounders he was working on before the firefight? I wonder if the customer hung around for them?

      1. avatar Michael Buley says:

        LazrBeam, some people grapple with the easy questions — how can we save the country, the Constitution, this very country. And there are some — and to these men, we owe eternal gratitude — who go much deeper than the rest of us would think about … lol ….

        Some questions, we’ll probably never know the answers to … I’m just glad SOMEONE thinks about these things … lol …

        Markus Washington should have come out throwing quarter pounders at the perp for all he was worth! Go down firing! Hiding behind the beef — coward!

        And should be free burgers for Dad and family for the rest of his life.

        1. avatar rt66paul says:

          What else would you expect a hamburger flipper to do? They are told not to carry and to give up the money – they are not paid to be shot at and should seek safety. Calling him a coward is just wrong.

  8. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    McThug got fried with that order!

  9. avatar James W Crawford says:

    It could have turned out differently.'s_massacre

  10. avatar Tim says:

    News you’ll never see on NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, New York times , Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, etc., etc., etc., etc…..

  11. avatar Michael says:

    There are no victims, only volunteers. The father and son weren’t victims, they shot back, they were heros. (Insert suitable epithet here), volunteered itself to be rapidly returned to room temperature when it started shooting up people minding their own business. Walking, talking, shoot/no shoot, reactive targets, right here in the real world. America, gotta love it.-30-

    1. avatar Michael Buley says:

      Michael, I appreciate your reference to the scum attacker as ‘it.’ It does not deserve a place in this world, and thankfully, this Dad took him out of this world. Dad’s a pretty good shot, too. After being shot, apparently, as well.

  12. avatar CNS says:

    I wonder what the killer’s motivation was. He started shooting immediately, so it doesn’t seem like he was there to rob the place. But if he just wanted to kill people, wouldn’t he pick a more “target rich” environment then a McDonald’s that was about to close for the night? Not that many people were inside.

  13. avatar Hannibal says:

    Weird, you mean that a mass shooter incident was stopped and the carrier didn’t shoot any bystanders or get shot by police? I’m so confused…

  14. avatar possum says:

    Armed dad fearlessly defends his sons. And in another world, Moma cat defends her kittens from a raccoon that outweighs her two to one

  15. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    McDonalds will make sure this never happens again by posting NO GUNS signs.

    1. avatar Michael Buley says:

      Ed, I suspect you’re right. It works so well in schools to have gun-free zones, yes, by all means, do it at McDonald’s. Oh wait, do it everywhere — that communist plan for America!

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