North Carolina man arrested after shooting over face mask rule critically injures security guard

State - Regional

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A man was arrested for attempted murder after a shooting over a face mask rule at a Fayetteville bar left a man in critical condition, police said Monday.

Will Tavon Francis. (Courtesy of the Fayetteville Police Department)

Will Tavon Francis, 29, was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder and injury to personal property. He was given a $300,500 bond.

Charles Jackson Jr. remains in the hospital in stable, but serious condition, police said.

The shooting happened late Thursday night at Phat Daddy’s Sports Bar and Grill. Surveillance video showed a group of men pull up and try to enter the bar without face masks, which is not allowed. The group argued with security and masked customers before heading back to the parking lot.

Minutes later, the masked and unmasked groups are seen arguing and fighting, according to video. Both sides then pulled out guns.

Jackson was one of the security guards who was trying to break up the fight. He was shot twice and fell to the ground, video showed.

The unmasked group then sped off, the suspected shooter taking off in a white Mercedes SUV. Jackson, a Marine veteran and family man, remains in critical condition Friday night.

“Mr. Jackson is not just a security guard for me. He’s like my brother — been around me for 20-plus years, so this one hurts real deep,” said Kenneth Clark, who is the bar’s owner.

Clark said there have been problems with some patrons not wanting to comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines during the pandemic but never something like this.

“You don’t have to come in here — it’s a privilege. If you don’t want to put on the face mask you don’t have to come in,” Clark said.

Police ask for anyone with information on the case to contact Detective D. Gousby at 910-322-1084 or Crimestoppers at 910-483-TIPS.

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