Alachua County Sheriff's Office
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Man Fatally Shoots Good Samaritan Who Was Paying For Strangers’ Meals And Handing Out $20 Bills At Florida Waffle House

Authorities have arrested Ezekiel Hicks at a Waffle House in Gainesville, Florida, after he shot Good Samaritan Craig Brewer, who was paying for people’s meals and handing out $20 bills.

According to Lieutenant Brett Rhodenizer with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, witnesses said Brewer “was paying for meals and giving out money, and that devolved into a verbal and then physical altercation.”

Hicks confronted Brewer and started arguing with him after a woman got angry because Brewer did not pay for her meal.

At some point, Hicks went to his car to retrieve a handgun despite protests from a bystander. Hicks continued arguing with Brewer before taking out the weapon and shooting Brewer in the head.

“This is an individual that has a family, and how this went from something that could have been good to something so tragic so fast, we simply have to find that out,” Lieutenant Rhodenizer told Fox 35.

The shooting was captured on surveillance video.

Hicks was arrested outside the restaurant and faces first-degree murder and unlicensed firearm charges.

The fact that the incident escalated so quickly is what’s really sending people’s heads into a spin.

“The speed at which it happened and how quickly it went so bad — for both the victim and the suspect — is really kind of the thing that resonates the most with a lot of the folks that have been a part of the investigation,” said Lieutenant Rhodenizer.

He added:

“The why of this case will persists for days and weeks as we conduct follow-up interviews, but the how is incredibly straightforward. Out of all the investigations that I’ve seen, very seldom do you have an incident from start to finish on video that ends in a murder.

It was literally in the single digits worth of minutes from the time we received the initial call from the Waffle House, saying, ‘Hey, there’s too many people here, we’d like a hand clearing the restaurant,’ to deputies are on the scene, told about a shooting, and we have a suspect in custody and a firearm recovered.”

Our thoughts are with Brewer’s family.