A gunman in an angry clown mask is on the run after shooting a customer early Tuesday at a northwest Atlanta Waffle House, police said.
Officials told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the customer was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition after being shot in the neck.
The Waffle House is in the 1000 block of Northside Drive, a busy stretch near 14th Street that includes a row of restaurants.
Police said a man in a black hooded sweatshirt was seen pacing the parking lot just before 6 a.m. He entered the restaurant and went straight for the bathroom.
“When he came out, he had a (gold) mask on,” Atlanta police Capt. Andrew Senzer said. “He produced a gun and he essentially demanded the belongings of everybody of the store.”
The masked man confronted a half dozen patrons and employees in the restaurant, though some of the customers did not comply with his demands. One robbery victim told The AJC he took the threat seriously and gave up his car keys and wallet.
“I was really shocked,” Charles Fears said. “I gave my car up to him. I didn’t want to get shot.”
Police said the man then grabbed the cash register and made his way out to the victim’s white Mercury Grand Marquis in the parking lot.
But one of the customers, who has not been identified, went to the window to watch the gunman’s escape, and the man turned around to fire one round.
“The one that got shot was arguing with the guy,” Fears said. “The guy was standing by the window and he shot through the glass.”
Photos of the crime scene show shattered glass near the seating area.
The Mercury was found abandoned on Georgia Tech’s campus a short time later.
Investigators are hoping surveillance footage gives them a better idea of how the shooter looks.
“We don’t have any further description at this time,” Senzer said.