Waffle House shooting triggered by coronavirus mask dispute

Kelvin Watson allegedly told Waffle House cook he could 'blow your brains out'

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A Colorado man was arrested for allegedly shooting an area Waffle House cook who asked him to wear a mask – the day after he told the same employee, he could "blow your brains out," according to a recent report.

Kelvin Watson first showed up at the Aurora Waffle House in the early hours of May 14 without wearing a face mask or face covering, according to local Denver affiliate FOX 31 KDVR.

Most regions mandate or recommend people wear something to cover their noses and mouths in an attempt to prevention novel coronavirus transmission. Aurora, specifically, does not require people to wear masks in public places.

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A server at the restaurant, which was serving to-go orders at the time, told Watson, 27, he must wear a mask if he wanted to be served. He left and came back, this time with a mask, but he wasn't actually wearing it to cover his face, so staff said they would not serve him, according to the report.

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That's when Watson put a gun on the restaurant counter and told the Waffle House cook he could "blow your brains out," the report states.

He returned the next day shortly after midnight, when the same chef said they wouldn't serve him. Watson allegedly slapped the worker in the face and shot him in his abdomen as he tried to run away.

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Watson was arrested on Monday and charged with attempted first-degree murder, according to the report. The employee was expected to survive.

A Waffle House spokesperson told the outlet they were relieved to learn about the arrest for the "terrible crime."

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"This case involves a senseless act of violence that should not be tolerated in any community," the spokesperson said in a statement. "We are very thankful that neither of our associates who were working when the incident occurred, suffered any life-threatening injuries. Our thoughts and well wishes remain with our associate who was injured and now is recovering at home."

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