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Shots fired, 4 injured at U.S. McDonald’s over takeout-only coronavirus rule

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WATCH ABOVE: Four McDonald’s employees, including two teenagers under 18, were injured at a restaurant in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night – May 7, 2020

Four McDonald’s employees, including two teenagers under 18, were injured at a restaurant in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night after a woman who was kicked out of the dine-in area over coronavirus rules pulled a gun and opened fire, police said.

The woman initially walked into the restaurant and tried to enter a dining area that was closed under social distancing rules, according to Capt. Larry Withrow of Oklahoma City Police. The woman “was asked to leave but refused,” then got into a physical altercation with one of the McDonald’s employees, Withrow said.

“The suspect was forced out of the restaurant by employees,” Withrow said.

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The woman later pulled out a handgun and “fired approximately three rounds in the restaurant,” Withrow added.

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The suspect was with another person at the time, Lt. Michelle Henderson told NBC News.

“They were asked to leave, and they refused and produced a gun,” Henderson said.

Police say four employees were injured in the altercation. One was shot in the arm, another was hit in the shoulder by shrapnel and a third suffered a head injury from shrapnel. The employee who grappled with the woman also sustained a head injury, Withrow said.

Gloricia Woody, 32, faces four counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon in connection with the incident. She was arrested following the shooting on Wednesday night.

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Woody’s mother told the New York Times on Thursday that she didn’t have a lawyer. She also disputed the police version of events, saying that Woody didn’t know the dining area was closed, and that she was defending herself against employees who attacked her.

A sign in the window at a McDonald’s restaurant states no dine-in seating Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Oklahoma City.
A sign in the window at a McDonald’s restaurant states no dine-in seating Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Oklahoma City. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski linked the incident to widespread anxiety over COVID-19 lockdowns and the push to reopen the United States.

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“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,” he told ABC’s Good Morning America. “But there’s absolutely no excuse for violence, particularly gun violence, so I’m just happy that our people are going to be OK.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

— With files from the Associated Press