A waitress was shot dead by a customer at a Waffle House restaurant in Biloxi, Mississippi, on Friday (27 November). The incident occurred after the waitress asked Johnny Max Mount to stub out his cigarette.
Following an argument over the cigarette, Mount allegedly retrieved a 9mm handgun and shot the waitress. She was reportedly taken to nearby Merit Health Biloxi Hospital but was pronounced dead shortly later. Mount, 45, was charged with first-degree murder.
The Biloxi Police Sergeant, Donnie Dobbs, said that Mount was still sitting in his seat at the restaurant when officers arrived at the scene shortly after 1am. He is believed to have surrendered himself to the police almost immediately.
"The individual was still sitting there and they took him into custody," said Sergeant Dobbs. Some reports have indicated that Mount was a former firefighter who was injured during a road traffic accident in 2002.
A spokesperson for Waffle House described the incident as a "senseless tragedy" and a "shock" for those who work there. The spokesperson also confirmed that Waffle House has a non-smoking policy, which is why their waitress had asked Mount to stop smoking in the venue.
The spokesperson said: "Our associate was a friend to many as well as a valued member of the Waffle House team for eight years as a salesperson. She will be greatly missed. Our prayers are with her family, friends, co-workers and customers."