One found shot to death in Waffle House parking lot

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A second shooting in five weeks at a Waffle House in Columbus has people in the area concerned that the restaurant is becoming a problem.

Police say Chase Breitigam, 29, died in the parking lot of the Waffle House on Cassady Avenue early Monday morning. In April, three people were hurt after a shooting in the parking lot.

Stacey Hield, who works nearby, said she was driving to work Monday morning when she saw something awful.

“I happened to look over to see the yellow tape and then looked a little bit further beyond that and saw the person on the ground, covered by a sheet,” Hield said. “So it was pretty scary.”

In the eight years she’s worked in that area, Hield said she has never felt unsafe before.

“I knew that there were places you would want to stay away from, but I probably would never eat at that Waffle House again, unfortunately,” Hield said.

It’s no surprise to people who know the restaurant is open at all hours.

“After the bars close, you know, people go get something to eat, plus they have alcohol in them so there’s going to be confrontations,” Ted Williams said.

Williams, who said he used to live nearby, filled up his truck at the gas station next door to Waffle House. He said he didn’t think the restaurant itself was the problem.

“It’s not the Waffle House, it’s the people that go to Waffle House,” Williams said.

Detectives said they checked security video from the restaurant, but it didn’t reveal much about what happened early Monday morning. They are still searching for the person or people responsible for Breitigam’s death.

QueenEsther Fain said the shootings hit close to home. Her cousin worked as a waitress at that Waffle House location until the shooting in April.

“I said I think you need to find a different place to work,” Fain said.

She added, “That’s not something that just happen[s] like that in a Waffle House. Come on. That’s almost like saying [you’re] getting shooting at Red Lobster all the time.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Waffle House, Inc. wrote, “We are sorry for the loss of life in this incident.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim.  Not all the details that have been reported on this incident are accurate.  We are currently working with the police to investigate the specific details and ask that you direct any inquiries to them about this incident.  The safety and security of our customers and associates has been and will continue to be a top priority for Waffle House and its franchisees.  We are continually evaluating our policies and enhancing them.”

In April, three people were injured after shots were fired in the parking lot of the same Waffle House.

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