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Gunman sought, cook arrested after 2 shot in restaurant heist

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A shooting left two managers wounded at a Zaxby's restaurant on Rivers Avenue late Sunday, and an arrest of a teenage co-worker the next day revealed that investigators think it was at least partially an inside job.

It was closing time when a gunman robbed the restaurant near Trident Technical College and shot the managers, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office said. A 22-year-old man was shot in the stomach and a 26-year-old woman in the finger.

The employee with the stomach wound remained in the hospital Monday, while the other had been released around 4 a.m., said Chap Johnston, one of the restaurant's co-owners.

"They're both doing extremely well," Johnston said. "They're expected to make a full recovery."

Deputies arrested a 16-year-old cook in connection with the incident, Capt. John Clark said. Bernard Gerrard Seabrook of North Charleston is charged as an adult with accessory to armed robbery.

Seabrook told deputies Sunday night he had gone out to empty trash when a man came out from behind some bushes with a gun and marched him back inside. After walking Seabrook inside, the robber made him and four other employees lie on the floor, the Sheriff's Office report states.

Two wounded managers later told deputies they were counting drawer money when the gunman entered through a back door and demanded money. As they handed it over, he fired the pistol, striking both. He ran off, though witnesses weren't sure in which direction.

Deputies responded at 10:59 p.m. to a holdup alarm at the business at 6924 Rivers Ave.

Investigators had not identified a shooting suspect Monday. The report gives few details, other than to describe him as about 5 feet 9 inches tall, 155 pounds and wearing white gloves during the incident.

The restaurant's co-owners, including Johnston, gathered at the business Monday to comfort employees. Some day-shift workers were unaware of what had happened when they arrived for work. They still managed to reopen for the normal 11 a.m. starting time.

"They're dealing with it remarkably well," Johnston said.

He called their determination to overcome the violence "humbling."

"It's obviously shaken all of us," he said. "It feels like family. It's amazing to see how they came together during the rush-hour lunch today."

He described the two people who were wounded as "outstanding employees and wonderful individuals."

Though Johnston said nothing like this had happened at Zaxby's, other restaurant workers have been recent victims of violence.

A day earlier, a pizza-delivery driver was shot and killed in an apparent robbery in a subdivision near Summerville.

In October, Jennifer Skurow, 32, was killed inside Perkins Restaurant, about a mile from Zaxby's, where she worked as a night manager. Police arrested former co-worker Dominic Derricotte, now 22, in Virginia about 16 hours later. He was extradited to the Lowcountry to face charges of murder and armed robbery.

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