McDonalds Shooter Tries to Kill and Fails

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In Fort Worth, Texas, a troubled man, hearing voices, decided to become an active shooter in a local restaurant. Pulling his handgun and engaging customers and staff alike, his gun malfunctioned every time he pulled the trigger. What happened next was chilling.

The incident

Fort Worth Police released video on September 26th drawn from a series of surveillance cameras set up in a local restaurant. The disturbing video showed a then unidentified subject who tried to go on a shooting spree inside the McDonalds at 4800 South Freeway.

The video shows the suspect pacing around the lobby of the fast food establishment acting nervously, head on a swivel for possible threats to his caper. He calmly asks for a cup to get a glass of water, and then as soon as he gets to the drink station, decides to brandish his weapon. Pointing it at the crowd, he gets in a scuffle with at least one customer, after which he drops the magazine on his semi-automatic and appears to work the slide, checking the gun.

Witnesses state that the suspect pulled the trigger inside the store at patrons and staff no less than five times during the 90-second encounter, yet the gun never fired.

Once outside in the parking lot, the suspect points the gun into the air and fires at least one round off towards passing cars. You can see the muzzle flash at about the 1:27 mark in the video. Remarkably, this shot he does manage to get off is nowhere near any innocent bystanders. He threw the gun away in the parking lot and left the scene, with no one injured.

Troubled suspect

With the high quality surveillance video in hand, police soon were able to locate and arrest the suspect. Identified as 24-year old Jestin Anthony Joseph. Joseph, who did not have a history of mental illness treatment, told media outlets after his arrest that he had been hearing voices in his head for days and that he hoped to steal a car to leave town. In the interview he further states that the gun was loaded but not cocked, which would explain why it did not go off, but not why he was menacing people with it.

Currently he remains in jail with a $500,000 bond yet to be realized, facing five counts of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.

How did the gun not go off?

Some chalk this event up to divine intervention. In an article at the Blaze, Joseph's mother is interviewed as having gone to the police four hours before the incident at McDonalds, fearing for his actions, stating that he was acting paranoid and violent. After leaving the police station, she prayed fervently for everything to be OK.

One snarky blog post at the Dallas Observer said, "Perhaps gun manufacturers developed a mind-reading anti-murder trigger lock and forgot to mention it. Most likely, it was pure, dumb luck."

The facts are that somehow a crime potentially as great as the 1991 Luby's Restaurant Massacre in which a deranged gunman in nearby Killeen, Texas killed 23 innocents was avoided.

No matter whether it was God, inept weapons manipulation skills, anti-murder gun locks (!), or whatever, thankfully, the voices did not appear to help him use his firearm until he was alone in the parking lot.

Be safe out there.

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