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.