Waffle House shooting leaves one teenager dead, others injured, police say
A shooting at a Waffle House left an 18-year-old dead and two minors injured early Saturday morning, police said.
Police received a report of the shooting at the Gonzales, Louisiana restaurant just after midnight, the Gonzales Police Department wrote in a Facebook post. When they arrived at the scene, they found two victims in the parking lot with gunshot wounds.
One of the victims, 18-year-old Willie Bridges, was taken to Notre-Dame du Lac de l’Ascension Hospital where he later died of his injuries, police said.
Another victim was taken to a hospital near Baton Rouge in stable condition, while a third arrived later at a local hospital in critical condition, police said. The authorities did not reveal their identity since they are minors.
Many details about the fatal incident, including the events leading up to it or whether the shooting was random, remained unknown as of Saturday afternoon. The Gonzales Police Department also did not confirm whether it had identified the shooter.
Ami Clouatre, a police spokesman, told the local newspaper the lawyer that none of the victims appeared to be Waffle House employees and that investigators were working to determine whether or not they entered the restaurant before they were shot.
Employees told the newspaper they hadn’t seen anything since the shooting happened outside. The restaurant reopened at 6 a.m. The incident is still under investigation by local police, who have urged anyone with information to call (225) 647-9583.
In a statement to Newsweek, a Waffle House spokesperson wrote that the company is cooperating with law enforcement during its investigation.
“At this time, we understand that none of our employees working at the time were injured in the incident. We also understand that the incident occurred in an area between an alley and nearby local hotel parking and our restaurant,” the statement said.
Chain restaurant shootings happen surprisingly often in the United States. In April, several teenagers were gunned down outside a Waffle House in downtown Atlanta after a fight.
Meanwhile, a shooting at a Chili’s restaurant earlier this month in Rocky Mount, North Carolina left a woman dead and a 15-year-old employee injured after the victim and the alleged shooter fought at the bar .
Late last month, a customer at a Jack in the Box in Houston, Texas allegedly shot an employee after being told that an extra dip would incur a surcharge.
Newsweek contacted the Gonzales Police Department for comment.