Three armed men tried to rob a Pizza Hut restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina, Oct. 30. A Pizza Hut employee shot and killed one of the armed robbers but now the robber's parents are speaking out to the media, upset that their son got shot in the head with a gun the employee reportedly legally owned.
Parents Temia Hairston and Michael Grace Sr. learned of their son's death on social media and received confirmation from the police after getting in touch with them, WBTV reports. The mourning mother and father of Michael Grace Jr. say the employee at Pizza Hut had no right to fire the gun at their son.
"If there was to be a death, it was not the place of the employee at Pizza Hut. That is the place of law enforcement," said Hairston.
The parents stated that their son had fallen onto hard times economically and had turned to crime to provide for his own child, American Military News reports. The parents further said their son had previously been employed by the Pizza Hut restaurant he tried to rob and never would have actually hurt anybody during the criminal act.
"It was an act of desperation, but I do not believe that Michael would have hurt anyone," said Hairston.
The parents are upset that an employee used a gun to halt the robbery. The robber's mother believes the shooting was personal due to her son's clashes with other employees at his former workplace.
"This wasn’t a body shot. This was a head shot. My son was shot in the left side of his head just behind his ear. A head shot is personal," Hairston said.
Michael Grace Sr. stated his belief that his son still had rights, despite acknowledging that his son was carrying out a crime.
"Even a criminal has a right, to a degree," said Grace Sr. "I’m not advocating what my son did."
The robber's family believes information is being withheld from the police investigating the incident and they want confirmation from Pizza Hut that their son used to be an employee at the restaurant.
Pizza Hut released the following statement shortly after the incident took place:
The local Pizza Hut franchise is fully cooperating with the Charlotte Police Department as they continue their investigation, but want to stress that the security of its staff is of utmost concern. They are providing support to the team members involved to ensure their health and well-being following this incident. The employee involved in the shooting has been placed on a leave of absence following further review.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department also released a statement concerning the shooting event.
"The investigation is still ongoing," the statement reads, "any new information will be released by Public Affairs."