08/05/2020 3:58 AM IST

McDonald’s Patron Allegedly Opens Fire After Being Told Dining Room Is Closed Due To Coronavirus

Gloricia Woody of Oklahoma City got into a confrontation with restaurant employees after being told about its social distancing measures.

An Oklahoma City woman faces charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon after allegedlyopening fire inside a McDonald’s franchise Wednesday evening. Four people were injured.

Police said Gloricia Woody, 32, entered the restaurant at about 6 p.m. and became aggressive with employees after being told that the dining area was closed. After a physical confrontation with a worker, Woody was forced out of the restaurant, according to police.

Woody returned to the restaurant shortly afterward armed with a handgun, Oklahoma City police Capt. Larry Withrow told The New York Times Thursday. She fired about three rounds, hitting one employee in the arm, he said. Two additional workers were hit with shrapnel, he added.

All three injured employees were treated at a local hospital and are expected to make a full recovery. A fourth employee, believed to have been involved in the initial physical confrontation with Woody, was reportedly treated for a head injury, though it remains unclear how it was sustained. 

Two of the victims were 16 years old, and two were 18. Initial reports said there were two suspects, but police now say Woody is the only suspect involved. She remained in custody Thursday afternoon. 

In a Thursday appearance on “Good Morning America,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski called the incident “heinous” and said that the injured employees “were trying to really support public health.” 

“I think what you’re seeing in this situation is really what you’re seeing in a variety of situations across the country, which is this tension about opening and people’s concern about it,” Kempczinski added. “But there’s absolutely no excuse for violence, particularly gun violence. So I’m just happy our people are going to be OK.”  

A McDonald’s spokesperson echoed those sentiments, telling media outlets in a statement that “the safety and security of our employees and customers is our top priority” and that the company was “fully cooperating with law enforcement” in the investigation.  

As to whether or not Woody was angered by the restaurant’s social distancing measures, Withrow said police couldn’t confirm that was her motive. 

“I don’t know what triggered her into the confrontation,” Withrow told The New York Times. “That just happened to be the sequence of events.”

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) ordered nonessential businesses across the state to close their doors March 24 to curb the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. McDonald’s franchises and other restaurants were allowed to remain open for takeout and delivery orders only. 

Phase 1 of the state’s reopening began May 1, at which point restaurant dining rooms were allowed to seat guests while following strict social distancing and sanitation protocols. Ultimately the decision was left up to business owners.

As of Thursday, a total of 4,330 Oklahomans had reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus, while 260 have died.  

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