Crime

Argument between customer and worker at Wendy’s in KC led to deadly shooting: police

Police are asking a Wendy’s employee to come in and give a statement about the fatal shooting of a customer Wednesday night at the fast food restaurant in Midtown Kansas City.

Witnesses reportedly told police that the customer walked behind the counter to confront the employee during an argument and the two exchanged gunfire.

The customer, Aaron G. Mason, 23, of Kansas City, died at a hospital from injuries suffered in a shooting that started in the restaurant and spilled outside about 6:50 p.m., police said Thursday.

Police said they are still trying to piece together what transpired inside the restaurant at 3118 Main Street.

“We are trying to get the employee to come in and give a statement and tell us what happened,” said Capt. Tim Hernandez, a spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department.

“We know part of what happened in the incident and we just want to get the employee’s side of the story.”

Officers responded to the restaurant on reports of an armed disturbance. Arriving officers found Mason’s body outside the restaurant. About a dozen customers and employees were inside the restaurant when police arrived, police said.

Witnesses told police that Mason and the employee got into an argument inside the restaurant. Mason allegedly walked behind the counter to confront the employee. They then allegedly pulled guns and exchanged gunfire.

Mason, who was shot during the incident, ran out the back of the restaurant and collapsed in the parking lot, witnesses said. The employee fled before police arrived.

Shots were fired both inside and outside the restaurant, Hernandez said.

For now, the employee is considered a “person of interest,” Hernandez said. Police know the identity of the person they are looking for.

Police have gathered the physical evidence, but need the employee to answer questions, Hernandez said. The information the employee has is a “critical and important part of the story,” he said.

Police have statements from witnesses who where there at the time of the shooting, Hernandez said. He declined to disclose what led up to the shooting, saying detectives wanted to get the worker involved in the shooting a chance to talk to police.

Mason’s death is Kansas City’s 82nd homicide of the year, according to data kept by The Star. Last year, the city had 76 homicides by this point in the year, which ended with 145.

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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.
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