South Burlington, VT – Diners were forced to evacuate a South Burlington McDonald’s restaurant on Sunday evening after gunfire erupted in the kitchen.
Police said the incident occurred at about 5 p.m. on July 24 in the kitchen of the McDonald’s located on Shelburne Road, WPTZ reported.
A McDonald’s employee allegedly became agitated and took out a handgun in the kitchen of the fast food restaurant.
South Burlington police said the employee unloaded the handgun and then threw three bullets onto the hot grill, WPTZ reported.
The sizzling grill caused the live rounds to explode in short order, prompting a panic in the restaurant.
Co-workers reported that the suspect continued to act erratically, WPTZ reported.
Police responded to the scene and set up perimeter around the McDonald’s.
Officers negotiated with the male suspect, who remained in the restaurant with his handgun and more ammunition, WPTZ reported.
After discussions, the suspect agreed to leave his weapon inside the McDonald’s and surrender to police.
He was detained without incident in the parking lot and transported to University of Vermont Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation, WPTZ reported.
Police said that nobody was injured during the incident.
A man who was picking up Uber Eats orders in the McDonald’s tweeted immediately afterwards that he thought there had just been an electrical fire in the kitchen and that management hadn’t advised customers of what the true problem was.
@McDonalds on shelburne rd in Vermont…. Small electrical fire in kitchen. The kitchen staff evacuated but didn’t tell us customers to leave
— Christopher Forsman (@iWDWchristopher) July 24, 2022
Christopher Forsman wrote in a second tweet that he “walked into the lobby exactly as the incident started. There was what sounded like an electrical popping noise coming from the area of the soda machine and coffee machine.”
“One of MGRs seemed to clear the kitchen but didn’t say anything to the people in the lobby,” Forsman added.
But other terrified customers said they immediately identified the sound of what they thought was gunfire.
The incident remains under investigation and South Burlington police have not yet said whether any charges will be filed against the armed McDonald’s employee, according to WPTZ.