GAINSVILLE, Fla. — A friendly Florida man who was reportedly paying for people’s meals inside a crowded Waffle House restaurant was shot and killed Sunday, say police.
According to reports, 41-year-old Craig Brewer was shot in the head by another customer inside the restaurant around 3:00 a.m. onSunday following a verbal and physical fight. Witnesses told deputies that, “the victim was paying for meals and giving out money, and that devolved into a verbal and then physical altercation.”
Deputies arrested 25 year old Ezekiel Hicks following the shooting death of Craig Brewer, 41, at the Waffle House on West Newberry Road just after 3:00am this morning.https://t.co/UM8jFVPJCm pic.twitter.com/XDsZjrCSWu
— Alachua Co. Sheriff (@AlachuaSheriff) April 7, 2019
Police say that 25-year-old Ezekiel Hicks began arguing with Brewer after the woman Hicks was with complained that he had paid for other patron’s meals, but not hers. Apparently angered by this, Hicks decided to call out the Good Samaritan.
Hicks confronted Brewer, which led to an argument between the two. Hicks then reportedly exited the building and went to his car, retrieving his handgun. Hicks then brought the firearm inside in his waistband.
According to the statement from police, Hicks and Brewer then got into a physical fight, despite protests from other patrons inside the restaurant. Eventually, Hicks drew his weapon and fired, shooting Brewer in the head multiple times and killing him. Police were able to gain access to the closed circuit security footage inside the restaurant, which painted a very clear picture for them.
Deputies had already been alerted to the large and ‘unruly’ crowd inside the Waffle House, and arrived shortly after the gun was fired. Hicks told police that he’d shot Brewer and was arrested immediately upon arrival.
He is being held without bond on charges of premeditated murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Authorities confirmed that a Glock 9mm handgun was recovered at the scene. The spokesperson of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office said convicting Hicks won’t be difficult.
“Out of all the investigations that I’ve seen, very seldom do you have an incident from start to finish on video that ends in a murder,” he said.
He referred to the case as, “incredibly straightforward.”
“The speed at which it happened and how quickly it went so bad — for both the victim and the suspect — is really kind of the thing that resonates the most with a lot of the folks that have been a part of the investigation,” said Lt. Brett Rhodenizer following the incident.
In April of 2018, a Waffle House in Tennessee was the site of a deadly mass shooting. An unarmed customer rushed the shooter and managed to wrestle the gun away from him. The shooter was captured by police after a day-long manhunt.