December 1, 2023

A 23-year-old man is in critical condition after police say he was shot while on the job at a McDonald’s in Brooklyn, CBS New York’s Natalie Duddridge and Alecia Reid report.

The shooting happened around 7pm Monday outside the restaurant.

Some of the victim’s co-workers described him as a good guy and said the shooting left them angry to return to work.

“That something could happen with something as simple as food is crazy,” said one person in the neighborhood.

“She was working, at work, this happened at work? It’s kind of sad because she’s trying to make a living,” another person remarked.

It started when a customer, who sources told CBS2 was angry that her fries were cold, approached the worker, identified as Matthew Webb, 23, and began arguing with him.

The argument moved outside and that’s when, according to sources, the woman called her 20-year-old son to “take care of the problem.” He then pulled out a gun and shot Webb in the neck.

Webb was rushed to the hospital and the son was taken into custody.

“Frozen fries shouldn’t lead to shootings. At the end of the day, gun violence across this country, especially in this city, needs to be brought under control, and fast food restaurants are not the safe havens that they used to be,” attorney Sanford Rubenstein told Reid.

Rubenstein represents the family of Kristal Nieves, the 19-year-old who was killed in January while working the night shift at an East Harlem Burger King. The suspect, who was later arrested, allegedly demanded money and then shot and killed her.

“Her family is not doing well. It’s a tragedy they’ll never get over,” Rubenstein said.

There have been other attacks on fast food workers this year. On March, an East Harlem McDonald’s employee was stabbed multiple times with a box cutter while trying to break up a fight, and in July, three women violently attacked Bel Fries workers with glass bottles when they said the extra sauce would cost them less than $2.

“I am deeply concerned. My children have come to this McDonald’s over the years, and from time to time I have meetings at this McDonald’s,” said the Reverend Conrad Tillar. “It’s sad. It shows we’re at a crisis level in this city.”

“My daughter wants to work in fast food. She’s 17 and I’m scared of stuff like that. It’s horrible,” said Alison Mason. “You could be angry and say, ‘Hey, I didn’t get my order right’ – but shoot somebody?”

Dandridge spoke with a man who works at another fast food place. He said he’s grateful his boss recently installed a glass barrier, but staff are still scared.

“One of our workers, he called me today, he doesn’t want to work anymore… that’s why. They said they’re scared,” Habib Sayed said. “That’s why I don’t want to work at night. I told my boss, if you want to pay me $100 an hour, I’m not going to work, because that’s crazy.”

Police said there did not appear to be a prior relationship between the employee and the suspect.

Staff at McDonald’s said there is security, but hours have recently been reduced.

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