Popeyes employee shot by angry customer, police say

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor, Erik Avanier - Reporter, News4Jax.com Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Police are searching for a customer accused of shooting an employee at a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Wednesday evening in the Paxon neighborhood, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.

The shooting happened about 9 p.m. at the fast-food restaurant on North Edgewood Avenue.

Police said a customer got into an altercation with one of the workers, and the man pulled out a gun and shot the employee in the groin area. 

The 24-year-old employee told a man who wanted to enter the restaurant that it was closed, but the drive-thru window was still open. The suspect ordered his meal, but got mad over the cost. He came back into the restaurant, punched the worker, then shot him in front of two other workers, police said. The gunman took off in a black pickup, police said.

They described the truck as a dark-colored, older-model Ford pickup with a toolbed.

The worker, whom News4Jax is not naming because the shooter is still at large, was taken to UF Health with non-life-threatening injuries. He is expected to be OK.

Police said there were four employees at Popeyes when the man was shot.

Detectives continue to investigate.

Popeyes officials declined to comment Thursday.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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