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Friends, customers praise man for stopping gunman at IHOP

WAAY 31 spoke with folks who are now calling Jay Brown a hero.

Posted: Jan. 18, 2019 5:12 PM
Updated: Jan. 18, 2019 6:41 PM

Friends and customers are praising the actions of an IHOP employee after he stopped the gunman who had just killed his dad.

Roderick Turner shot and killed IHOP employee, Roy Brown, inside the restaurant Wednesday night. Brown's son then shot and killed Turner.

WAAY 31 spoke with people who say they are proud of Jay Brown for taking matters into his own hands before an already tragic situation could become even worse--saying he potentially saved a lot of lives.

“This is my favorite place to eat in Huntsville and everybody who knows me knows that," said John Powell.

Powell visits the IHOP on Drake Avenue multiple times a week and has formed a special bond with those who work there.

“They know what I like to eat and how to fix it," he said. "They’re like family. The food is delicious, but the family is really good.”

So, when Powell heard the tragic news that two employees at the restaurant—a father and son—were shot by an irate customer, he was concerned, and so were others who knew them.

“He’s kind of the epitome of customer service. Always friendly, got everything right every time, and would go out of his way to just make everything great," said Sierra Seay.

When Seay and Powell learned Roy Brown's son, who'd been shot in the arm, pulled out his own gun and killed the shooter, they told me they were proud—calling him a hero.

“It’s amazing that he was able to think so quickly on his feet in that situation, because I think I probably just would’ve panicked," Seay said.

"I’m glad he was carrying. I think it’s fantastic. I love knowing that the good guys have guns so that, if the bad guys act up, the good guys can protect themselves," Powell added.

Both said they were glad Brown was able to protect the other people who were working and eating inside the restaurant as well.

“It was obviously an incident where a good thing happened because somebody was armed," Powell said. "Obviously, he helped save lives. I would love it if the staff kept weapons.”

Many customers told WAAY 31 the incident won’t keep them from eating at IHOP. One man said the employee’s bravery actually makes him want to visit the restaurant more often.

WAAY 31 asked IHOP about their weapons policy. A spokesperson told us franchises are only told to abide by state and local gun laws. In Alabama, the names of permit holders are not public record.

Jay Brown is still recovering in the hospital with a severe arm injury.

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