Man shot when diner’s gun falls at west Charlotte Cracker Barrel

A Charlotte man was shot while enjoying dinner at a west Charlotte Cracker Barrel on Monday, according to our partners at the Charlotte Observer.

Fifty-seven-year-old Cedric Rush and his 89-year-old uncle sat down to enjoy their meal when a thud from the table next to them startled them. The Charlotte Observer reports that Rush looks down and saw blood, and his uncle looked down and saw a semi-automatic pistol.

According to the Charlotte Observer, the incident happened on April 24 around 6 p.m. The man at the table next to Rush tried to pick up a gun he dropped, but it fired, and a bullet flew into the wall, trapping shrapnel in Rush’s leg.

Rush told the Observer it was just another night at Cracker Barrel when he was shot.

“Then I just heard this noise and ducked because I thought somebody was shooting into the building,” Rush said.

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Rush and his uncle, Edward Martin, said the man tried to run from the restaurant after accidentally firing the gun, but he was stopped at the register by another customer, the Observer reports. Another person was treated for minor gunshot wounds by paramedics near the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.

After being taken to a hospital, Rush was told by doctors it would be better for him to leave the shrapnel in his leg because it would be more dangerous to remove it, the Observer reports. When asked it he wanted to press charges, Rush asked the police to give him time to calm down.

The Observer reports that Rush went back to the police in an attempt to press charges and felt ‘dissuaded’ by a detective.

Police gave Robert Prebble, 64, from Ohio a citation for violating N.C. concealed weapons law, according to The Observer. Prebble had a permit for concealed carry, which is required in North Carolina, but the state recognized out-of-state permits. Martin, Rush’s uncle, told the Observer he recognized the gun from his days in the Marines.

“The process of completely loading the pistol and getting it ready to shoot is involved,” Martin said. “You must intentionally pull back the gun’s slide and check to make sure an active round is loaded from the magazine. The gun should have never been loaded in someone’s pocket.”

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North Carolina statute doesn’t give clear directions for arresting or citing someone who accidentally fires a concealed weapon, but does allow a person who law enforcement believes will not be stopped unless they’re immediately arrested, the Observer reports.

Prebble’s first court date is June 9, 2023, according to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office.

Gun laws in North Carolina allow business owners to prohibit concealed weapons, it is unclear what rules Cracker Barrel follows. The Observer reached out to Cracker Barrel but was told by management they cannot comment on an active investigation.

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