WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Bill Wood was familiar with Mountain Fried Chicken early on. Wood, who makes signs of all kinds, created the sign for the restaurant years ago.
“You never think something like that is going to happen to you until you experience that situation,” Wood, 73, said Monday afternoon.
On Sunday, Wood and his wife went to the restaurant for a late dinner.
“Just sitting there kind of enjoying ourselves and all of a sudden the gunfire started,” Wood said.
Police say at 8:09 p.m., two teenagers started shooting at each other outside the restaurant.
“Probably 12, 15 shots,” Wood recalled. “It was very loud.”
Bullets shattered the restaurant’s windows and pierced Wood’s sign, as well as his right arm.
“Really, I actually didn’t know I had been hit until I felt the blood running down my arm,” he said.
A passing vehicle was also hit during the gunfight.
“When the bullets was hitting the windows it looked like a real smokey situation,” Wood said.
Police say the teens, identified as 16-year-old Samuel Marin Carbajal and 19-year-old Jason Zamora, left the area in separate vehicles before officers arrived.
“Spur of the moment, people don’t sit down and analyze a situation,” Wood said. “Then after it’s started and it’s over with, then that’s when the regret comes in.”
Investigators were able to locate the suspects. They add the shooting may have been gang-related.
“I’m still really shook up today,” Wood said. “Really nervous from it, which that’s probably natural when something like that happens.”
Wood adds that he will not stop going to the restaurant.
“I feel like anybody can go there and be safe and not have to worry about it, it’s just an unfortunate situation,” he said.
Zamora is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, intent to kill, inflicting serious injury, discharging firearm into an occupied vehicle and resisting a public officer. He is being held with no bond allowed.
Carbajal is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, intent to kill, inflicting serious injury, discharging firearm into an occupied building causing serious injury, and three counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied building. His bond was set at $100,000.
The Winston-Salem Police Department’s gang unit will conduct follow up investigations into the incident.
Mountain Fried Chicken Owner Charlie Taylor sent FOX8 the following statement:
“The events of last night were very unfortunate and we would like to extend prayers for all those affected. We pride ourselves in keeping a safe, family friendly environment at Mountain Fried Chicken. The employees reacted bravely helping usher all persons in the store to safety and quickly calling police. The WSPD responded rapidly and immediately took control of the situation. We thank all of the WSPD for their service and professionalism in the handling of this matter. Our main concern is for the safety of the customers and employees of our establishment so we will not be releasing any other information at this time.”