Biloxi Police arrested a man who they say shot a waitress to death at a Waffle House near the Coliseum. Police say, she told him he couldn’t smoke inside the restaurant, so he pulled out his gun and shot her.
It happened a little after 1 am this Friday morning.
“There was a verbal disagreement over the customer smoking, during the disagreement the customer pulled a pistol from his waistband fire the weapon one time striking the employee in the head,” said Lt. Milton Houseman, Biloxi Police Department.
The victim died on the way to the hospital. And that customer has now been identified as 45-year-old Johnny Mount. Police say he stayed on the scene and was arrested without incident when officers arrived. He’s now at Harrison County Jail on $ 2 million bond.
“It was a senseless killing over a cigarette,” said Mike Tapp, Biloxi.
“I mean it’s depressing,” said Kage Laney, Biloxi.
The news was met with strong reaction. But it’s been especially difficult for the victim’s close friends.
“How could you kill someone over a freaking cigarette, c’mon, and on Thanksgiving night?” asked Linda Kilpatrick, a friend of the victim’s.
Friends tell us it was 53-year-old Julie Brightwell. Waffle House says the employee killed had been with the company for eight years.
“She was working the shift like she always does, was it a regular, was it somebody who’s never been in the store before? I don’t know,” said Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick says Brightwell didn’t have close relatives in Mississippi, but she was like family to those who knew her, including some of her customers.
“I can’t fathom the thought and especially as friendly as she was with all her customers,” said John Banks, another friend.
The case is still under investigation as friends now cope with the loss.
“And I hope that Waffle House will help with some kind of memorial she was a vigilant worker, she was loyal to them, no matter how she felt she was always working.”
According to Waffle House policy, neither smoking nor guns are allowed inside the restaurant.
The victim’s friends have set up a GoFundMe account for help with funeral expenses.Click here to view it.