Shot fired in west-side restaurant
Gun of customer at eatery accidentally fires, scaring diners
By Craig Peters
Published: Friday, October 16, 2009 at 3:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 10:08 p.m.
Lunchtime diners at Jack in the Box on Spartanburg's west side had a noisy surprise Tuesday when a gun discharged one bullet into the restaurant's floor.
Orlanda Gambrell, manager of the Jack in the Box at 1500 W.O. Ezell Blvd., said Thursday night that the noise scared the crowded restaurant's guests and employees, but no one was hurt.
Gambrell said a gun was in the pocket of a male customer she did not know. She said the gun fired once because of "a manufacturer's defect" while the man was standing near the fountain drink station. The bullet put a hole in the man's front pocket and caused a small chip in the tile floor.
Gambrell said the man was eating with his friend, who is a frequent customer of the restaurant. Gambrell calls the frequent customer "Mr. Marshal" because he is a "marshal or constable" who wears a badge and holstered gun during his dining visits.
The men insisted they were fine and left, according to the incident report. Gambrell told police she did not report the incident because she thought the person in law enforcement would take care of it.
Spartanburg Public Safety responded to the restaurant approximately two hours later. Capt. Art Littlejohn said police received an e-mail complaint about the incident.
According to the report, a female customer picked up the shell casing, said "This is the bullet" and left with it. Gambrell recovered a bullet fragment and gave it to police.
Spartanburg Public Safety is investigating the incident but does not plan to file any charges.
Littlejohn said the incident was not in violation of city policy regarding the discharge of a firearm because there was no intent.
Gambrell said Thursday night that the man whose gun fired and the more frequent customer returned to the restaurant for lunch Wednesday. Gambrell said she learned both of them have gun permits, but the man whose gun discharged did not bring his weapon into the restaurant.
Gambrell said she recognizes the men on sight but does not know their names. She said the men have offered to fix her floor. She said the damage was so minimal "if you don't look at it, you wouldn't know it's there."
"It happened so fast they didn't know what was going on," Gambrell said. "They were very apologetic."