Violent crimes taking place at fast-food restaurants across the nation are on the rise. The latest incident, perhaps, warrants a cause for greater pause. According to Insider, a 4-year-old child opened fire at police at a McDonald’s in Utah.
The Police Department in Midvale, Utah disclosed that the incident occurred while they were taking the child’s father, later identified by the New York Post as Sadaat Shamille Johnson, into custody. They were arresting Johnson after he had threatened McDonald’s employees with the same gun his son used to fire at police after they made a mistake with his order. The police were called and when they arrived they had to forcibly remove the 27-year-old male from the car. It was during this time that Johnson communicated to his young son to take the weapon and fire at the officers.
Thankfully, one observant officer noticed what was going on while the others were occupied, moved to quickly deflect the gun. Only one shot was fired and the officer was able to walk away virtually unscathed with only a minor injury to his arm. The officer later told the press that he was absolutely stunned when he realized who the shooter was.
Following the incident, the suspect, Sadaat Shamille Johnson, was formally charged with child abuse as well as threatening the use of a firearm while in an altercation. The children have since been removed from Johnson’s care and taken into the custody of social services. Midvale Utah Police Department Sheriff Rosie Rivera provided her thoughts regarding what transpired at the McDonald’s. She stated that it was “beyond belief that something like could happen.”
Rivera continued to assert that the incident that occurred at McDonald’s serves as an example of how distorted some individuals’ views have become regarding law enforcement and their relationship to society. She empathized with the officers on the scene and pointed to the fact that “Even the thought crossing their mind of having to use deadly force on a child is disturbing.” And reiterated her disbelief in the fact that the father even had the capacity to put his child in that position. “Just think the gravity of that — a 4-year-old was told, we believe by the father, to pull the trigger and shoot a police officer. Thank God the officer was able to deflect,” concluded Rivera.
Sadly, this recent incident at the McDonald’s is only one of a barrage that has transpired at fast-food restaurants nationwide. A 19-year old Burger King worker was callously shot dead in New York City after she wasn’t expeditious enough in handing over register funds to her assailant. The young woman was shot in the chest and later passed away at the hospital. The shooter, Winston Glynn, has since been apprehended by authorities and charged on multiple accounts.
Adding to the nationwide onslaught, an enraged customer opened fire at a drive-thru worker at a McDonald’s location in St. Louis, Missouri last month. Around the same time, a Wendy’s employee in Phoenix, Arizona was killed by a contentious customer after being struck with a bullet in the head. This emerging fast-food shooting epidemic serves as a concerning indicator regarding the state of society’s mental health. It is frightening to think that simply going to work in an effort to make ends meet could leave you critically injured or worse. Addressing the root cause behind all of these disturbing incidents is something that is becoming increasingly more paramount.