A teenage boy was shot dead after a long-running dispute between him and the manager of a Burger King spilled out of the restaurant and escalated into a street gunfight, police said.
Shaka Walcott, 16, and Ronald Johannes, 45, had been arguing for more than a week before the teenager returned to the fast-food restaurant in the city's Bronx borough Saturday night and was shot several times in the torso by the manager, police said.
Witnesses said Walcott, an aspiring musician who had worked for a radio station, spat in Johannes' face before being shot in front of the burger restaurant. They said Johannes left the scene injured while Walcott writhed on the ground.
Police said Walcott was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. They said Johannes was bleeding from gunshot wounds when he stumbled back to his home, where they arrested him.
Johannes was charged with murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.
There was no telephone listing for Johannes at the home address provided by police. But neighbors said they didn't believe he was involved in the teen's shooting death.
"He was a quiet person," upstairs neighbor Roxanne Normil said. "Doesn't bother anyone as far as I know."
Customers at the Burger King, however, said Johannes was difficult to deal with and used to kick them out.
"He was acting up, so I just left without ordering my food," said William Jones, who saw the shootout.
Walcott's relatives said they didn't believe he had a gun or shot the restaurant manager. His friends described him as a music lover who never missed school and stayed out of trouble, reports AP.
"He was cool," Shaun Robinson said. "He didn't deserve to get shot like that."
At the Burger King restaurant on Sunday, an employee who was asked if the staff was aware that Johannes carried a gun to work said, "No." The telephone at Burger King Corp. headquarters in Miami was busy Sunday night.