The Waffle House crew was busily going about its typical early-morning ritual — smothering and scrambling breakfast, clanking through the dirty dishes — when a robber jolted them out of their routine.
A customer decided he was having none of that and opened fire in the North Charleston eatery, thwarting the holdup Saturday by fatally shooting the suspect.
The young man who tried to rob the restaurant was rushed to Medical University Hospital, but he later died, police spokeswoman Angela Johnson said.
The intervening customer, who has not been identified, had a permit to carry a pistol, authorities said.
A restaurant employee expressed gratitude for the customer’s action.
“He saved us, that’s what he did.”
Said an officer at the scene: “It says something about firearms ... for good people with firearms being in the right hands.” The policeman said he was not authorized to speak for the North Charleston Police Department.
Shortly after 5 a.m., police responded to reports of an armed robbery and shots being fired at the Waffle House at 6907 Dorchester Road. When officers arrived, they found the suspect had been shot.
The Charleston County Coroner’s Office and the police department turned to the public for help identifying the suspect. The Coroner’s Office later identified the suspect as 19-year-old Joshua Jermaine Davis. It is unknown where Davis resided, but the family believes he lived with a friend in downtown Charleston, according to Johnson.
Johnson said police are not pressing any charges against the customer at this time.
Waffle House employees spent the morning sweeping shards of broken glass in the doorway, preparing for a noontime reopening.
Brandon Rogers, division manager for the restaurant chain, said nothing was stolen in the incident, the first he could recall there since it opened a year ago.
“No one was hurt, which is the best part,” Rogers said. “No one was injured — besides the suspect.”
David MacDougall and Christina Elmore contributed to this report.
A crime scene investigator for the North Charleston Police Department walks toward the door of a Waffle House on Dorchester Road where an attempted armed robbery took place early Saturday.×