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.”
Deputies arrested 25 year old Ezekiel Hicks following the shooting death of Craig Brewer, 41, at the Waffle House on West Newberry Road just after 3:00am this morning.https://t.co/UM8jFVPJCm pic.twitter.com/XDsZjrCSWu— Alachua Co. Sheriff (@AlachuaSheriff) April 7, 2019
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.
This is the Waffle House where 41-year-old Craig Brewer was allegedly shot and killed by Ezekiel Hicks this morning, according to @AlachuaSheriff. Video surveillance from the restaurant is being used as evidence by deputies. @TheAlligator pic.twitter.com/lmOJrT5ggt— Katherine W-F (@katwf98) April 7, 2019
The fact that the incident escalated so quickly is what’s really sending people’s heads into a spin.
No good deed goes unpunished, right? Lord, help us. What is this world coming to where generosity leads to being shot in the head? We have to stop accepting this as the new normal. Shooting someone is not how you solve a problem. https://t.co/e013nMk0Wv— Ethan Kline (@MingusFingus) April 9, 2019
Guns guns guns. The @NRA's successful plan to enrich its constituent gun manufacturers by the gross over-proliferation of guns changes what might be a verbal altercation or at worst a fist-fight into a SHOOTING/MURDER. This is their plan for our country.https://t.co/SL18fgTRVu— Families vs Assault Rifles PAC (@famsvarpac) April 10, 2019
"Brewer had allegedly been going around the eatery paying for others' meals and handing out $20 bills when a woman who was at the Waffle House with shooting suspect Ezekiel Hicks, 25, became angry that the victim's generosity didn't include their table..." 😤 https://t.co/cUKhF4i2MI— Wayne James (@WayneOnTheWire) April 10, 2019
This Waffle House shooting really got me lost! #sickworld— Mr. CrEative (@saxman_noel) April 10, 2019
Just plain evil and cowardice. If your ass can't fight, just shut the fuck up and leave. Or if you get your ass beat, take that ass whooping and know you can't win all the time. Shooting someone because you can't win proves you are still a fucking loser https://t.co/QG2vEqqrwy— A Alanda Gregory (@GoldieLovesU) April 9, 2019
Picking up tabs? That's a shooting. Somehow there's a moral (or several) to this tragic story. Florida good Samaritan shot dead after picking up tabs at Waffle House https://t.co/kI3HX92fMT via @nbcnews— Wayne @CAU-Pegasus (@w_mccan) April 9, 2019
“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.
“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.