Man shot 8 times waiting in Cook Out drive-thru; Family pushing for stricter gun laws

A Gwinnett County family is speaking out about gun violence after one of their family members was brutally shot while waiting in the drive-thru line at a Cook Out restaurant earlier this week.

Shawn Brotherton faces a long recovery at Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta and his family plans to be by his side for every minute of it.

 "He has family members here, cousins here and his brothers, my two sons right here. And he has plenty of other family members that have been checking in from Florida, New York, Canada, England, Barbados, Jamaica. We have family all over the world and everybody's been checking in on him. What you have to understand is we are a tight-knit family, and you know, Shawn is one of the pieces of that family," said his father Lindy Brotherton.

According to Atlanta Police, Shawn was waiting in the drive-thru at a Cook Out fast food restaurant on Moreland Avenue SE on Tuesday when Julian Flakes allegedly fired into his car with a handgun.

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Police say there were 10 bullet holes in Shawn’s car, eight of them hit Shawn in his upper left arm and torso.

"My son took eight bullets and luckily, by the grace of God, he's still here," Brotherton said.

Police arrested Flakes and charged with him aggravated assault and possession of a gun during a crime.

Shawn now faces a lengthy and difficult recovery.

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Shawn Brotherton (Credit: Lindy Brotherton)

"He’s had two surgeries so far," his father said. "He’s going to have multiple orthopedic surgeries that's going to have to be performed to repair the damage to his arm."

Brotherton says his son doesn’t know Flakes, and now the family is just trying to understand why he would allegedly commit this seemingly random act of violence against Shawn.

"I just can't fathom, like, why him? And I would never want to wish this on anyone. No one," Brotherton said.

They want Shawn’s story to get the attention of lawmakers and anyone else who can make a change to keep guns out of the hands of people who want to do harm.

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Cook Out

"Something has got to change. Whoever sees this: Please, we need to think about what we're doing when it comes to gun control," the father said. "There's got to be some type of common sense law where we can … we have to work together to meet in the middle. This is not going to get any better. This is going to just continue to downward spiral and get worse and worse and worse."

To that end, the family has started a petition to get lawmakers and others to look into more gun laws.

The family has also set up a GoFundMe to help pay for Shawn’s medical bills.