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Teen Wendy's Drive-Thru Worker Shot In Head By Angry Customer Following Dispute Over Barbecue Sauce

Teen Wendy's Drive-Thru Worker Shot In Head By Angry Customer Following Barbecue Sauce Dispute

A teenage Wendy’s employee was shot in the head after a drive-thru customer’s argument about getting some extra barbecue sauce turned horrifically violent late last week.

On Thursday night, 16-year-old Brian Durham Jr. was working the drive-thru window cash register at a Wendy’s in Phoenix, Arizona alongside another employee.

According to local media reports, around 8:00 p.m. local time, a customer at the window asked for more barbecue sauce along with his meal. For whatever reason, that request escalated into an argument between the customer and the other employee, and it ended with the customer “opening fire into the store,” according to Newsweek.

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Durham’s father, Brian Durham Sr., spoke to Fox 11 News locally in Phoenix about the incident, explaining how things happened as he understood it:

“[Durham Jr.] was in the middle, and the other guy’s right there, ‘Hey, let me get some extra barbecue sauce.’ It became a confrontation. That somebody actually got shot over some barbecue sauce… So that was a confrontation, ’cause the dude couldn’t get no extra barbecue sauce. My son just stayed quiet and had the guy’s change in his hand. Just stayed quiet while the other two was in confrontation.”

Per the Phoenix Police Department, the suspect apparently approached the window on foot at the start of the incident. Cops say that after the shooting, the alleged gunman apparently entered the passenger side of a vehicle nearby and fled the scene.

Thankfully, nearly 24 hours after the shooting took place, cops were able to track down the reported assailant. Per the police, the alleged shooter has since been identified as 27-year-old Theotis Polk. He has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

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The bullet involved in the shooting hit Durham Jr.’s head, with it “grazing his brain,” according to local media reports. He was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition, and thankfully survived after more than five hours of emergency surgery. Still, doctors are not yet totally certain what the full effect of the shooting may be on the teen’s cognitive abilities.

The teen’s horrified father is just trying to recover emotionally from dealing with the whole situation:

“They don’t know how his speech is going to be. They give him commands and he moves his fingers and toes but can’t talk. I forgive [Polk], but I can’t forget. They caught him, my son is living, and I’m just happy.”


Here’s more on the incident from 12 News (below):

GoFundMe account has been set up to pay the teen’s medical bills. By Monday morning, it had already raised more than three times its initial goal. You can view the fundraiser page HERE. We’re just glad Durham survived the shooting, and we hope he pulls through the recovery OK.

[Image via GoFundMe/12 News/YouTube]

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Jan 17, 2022 08:00am PDT