A man with a firearm may have stopped a burglary, or perhaps something worse, at an Alabama McDonald's. The man, who hasn't been named, was leaving the fast-food eatery in Birmingham with his two sons at around 10:45pm Saturday, report Fox News and AL.com. WBRC notes that a masked gunman burst into the restaurant as a worker opened the door for the family to exit, opening fire. The father whipped out his own pistol and returned fire; an employee who hid in the store's freezer with another worker says he heard more than 15 shots fired. "All we hear is like different gunfire, so ... I'm imagining everybody is dead," Markus Washington tells WBRC, who said he was making hamburgers when the chaos broke out.
He adds that as he and his co-worker cowered in the freezer, they were sure the gunman was "looking for us." But the gunman was felled in the shooting, later dying from his injuries. The dad and one of his sons were also hit; the son's injuries weren't life-threatening, while it's not clear on the father's condition. Sgt. Bryan Shelton, a rep for the Birmingham Police, tells WVTM they're still not sure if the gunman meant to rob the Mickey Dee's, ambush an employee, or just start shooting. "It's not easy being a father and watching your child get injured ... like that," Shelton says. "It's a really heart-wrenching experience." Washington, meanwhile, calls the pistol-toting dad his "hero": "If he wasn't armed, we might not be here having this interview." (A Florida man tried to use a stun-gun on two Muslim students outside a McDonald's.)