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Girl Killed in Botched Holdup at McDonald's

Tragedy: Gunman is fatally wounded by off-duty police officer at restaurant in Barstow. Young victim was 9.

June 17, 1997| From Associated Press

BARSTOW — A gunman opened fire during a thwarted robbery at a McDonald's restaurant Monday, killing a 9-year-old girl before an off-duty police officer mortally wounded him, authorities said.

The gunman entered the restaurant through the employees entrance about 3 p.m. and handed a note to the manager, who then told employees they were being robbed, police said.

An off-duty Barstow officer eating in the restaurant tried to confront the gunman, who opened fire, Police Lt. Jim Lindley said during a news conference late Monday.

It was not clear why the gunman started shooting. But during the gun battle that ensued, the officer shot the gunman, who was airlifted to a hospital, where he died.

Lindley said the 25-year-old gunman had a lengthy criminal record. He did not release identities of the gunman or the victim.

A security camera showed the shot that killed the girl came from the gunman, not the officer, Lindley said.

The McDonald's was in Barstow Station, a popular stopping point for travelers. In addition to the restaurant, it includes an ice cream and candy shop and gas station in a building that resembles an old-time train station.

Barstow, 120 miles northeast of Los Angeles, is at the junction of Interstates 15 and 40 in the Mojave Desert.

It was not the first fatal shooting at a McDonald's restaurant in California this year.

On June 8, a man apparently involved in a child custody drop-off allegedly shot the mother, with the children standing nearby, outside a crowded McDonald's restaurant in Rancho Cucamonga.

Last December, a 17-year-old was killed and two people were injured when a former employee went on a shooting rampage at a Vallejo McDonald's.

In San Ysidro, 21 adults and children were shot to death in 1984 in a rampage by James Oliver Huberty, who was shot to death by police.

Calls to McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., were not returned after business hours Monday.

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