FORT WORTH — A potential mass shooting at a fast-food restaurant was averted Tuesday night when a would-be robber’s gun malfunctioned as he pulled the trigger multiple times, police said.
When the gunman stepped outside and tried again, shots rang out, prompting one officer to suggest that divine intervention played a role in the outcome.
Fort Worth police say surveillance video captured the man pulling the trigger at least five times as he pointed his gun at people inside the McDonald’s at 4800 South Freeway while demanding their property.
Twice the man went outside and successfully fired the gun, once into the air and later toward a passing car. No one reported being injured, and responding officers soon arrested a suspect, identified as 24-year-old Jestin Anthony Joseph of Allen in Collin County.
Police could not explain why the gun didn’t fire inside the store.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” said robbery Sgt. Joe Loughman. “It must not have been their time to go.”
About four hours before the robbery, Joseph’s mother had gone to the Allen police station and told officers that she feared her son was suicidal.
The mother, who asked not to be identified to shield herself and her other children from any repercussions, said she alerted Allen police after her son told her over the phone that people were after him.
“He said, ‘They’re trying to kill me, Mama! I’m going to die tonight! I’m going to die tonight!’” the mother recounted in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.
The mother said she believes that her son had a mental breakdown, just as his father did a few years ago. She said she believes it runs in his father’s family.
“The only thing I can say to you is that was not my son yesterday,” the mother said. “He was not in his right mind.”
Joseph’s mother said she believes the gun malfunctioned “because we were praying.”
“Last night, I told God to keep Jestin, and that’s what I do believe happened,” she said. “I did not know he even had a gun.”