An Alabama dad is being hailed a hero after he took down a masked gunman who opened fired in a McDonald’s restaurant over the weekend.
The unidentified man was leaving the Birmingham restaurant with his sons Saturday when the suspect entered and began shooting, according to WBRC-TV. Instead of fleeing, the father pulled out his own pistol and returned fire, ultimately preventing the shooter from carrying out his deadly plans. The suspect later died of his injuries, according to WBRC.
Though the father and one of his teenage sons were struck by the attacker’s bullets, countless lives were likely saved as the result of his quick and fearless actions. The two are expected to fully recover from their wounds.
One of the McDonald’s employees who was there during the horrific event later expressed his gratitude for the man who put his life on the line to save his.
“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,” Markus Washington told WBRC.
Washington told the local station that he was making two quarter-pounders when the attacker opened fire. He took cover in the freezer, where he recalls hearing about 15 shots ring out.
Unaware of the pistol-wielding dad’s heroic actions at the time, Washington said he feared the carnage outside that freezer door was much worse.
“All we hear is like different gunfire, so in my mind, I’m imagining everybody is dead. He’s looking for us,” he said.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Washington is shaken but ultimately thankful for the selfless and courageous actions of the armed customer.
“I’m feeling grateful,” he said. “Wrapping my head around it all, I was just wishing someone would come wake me up from this nightmare.”
According to Fox News, the armed dad is not expected to face charges. As of Monday, authorities were still working to determine the masked gunman’s motivations — whether he intended to rob the establishment, target a single employee or worse.
“Things like this are difficult for both families,” Birmingham police spokesman Sgt. Bryan Shelton said, according to WVTM-TV. “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.”
“It’s not easy being a father and watching your child get injured, get hurt like that,” Shelton added. “It’s a really heartwrenching experience.”
Please pray for this father and son, their family and law enforcement as they work to move forward following this tragic event.
(H/T: Fox News)