ATLANTA - Police have released more details about a shooting at a popular Midtown Atlanta restaurant late Monday night.
Atlanta Police said a married couple was in the parking lot of JCT. Kitchen, located at 1198 Howell Mill Road, when an armed man attempted to rob them, demanding the husband's watch.
The husband, identified as 25-year-old Bruno Bafico, refused and a brief struggle ensued. That's when, according to police, the suspect fired several shots at Bafico, who then ran into the restaurant.
The gunman ran after Bafico into the crowded establishment, continuing to fire at least two more times in the process, according to investigators. Bafico fell over a cooler behind the bar, and police said the suspect tried to shoot him again, but the gun malfunctioned.
Investigators said the suspect, described as a slim black man, fled the scene and jumped into the back seat of a black SUV. The driver of the getaway vehicle was described as a Hispanic male or possibly a black male with a light complexion with long wavy hair.
“We were sitting in the back, there was four of us and I heard a pop -- sounded like a balloon and then a louder pop and then a really loud pop, screaming, glass shattering. I immediately jumped up and was right by the kitchen and ran into the kitchen and a whole bunch of people were behind me, there was about 15 or 20 of us in the kitchen. I was basically looking for exit points and where we can move and I sat there looked out back and people running out the side of the restaurant so I decided to stay in the kitchen and make sure I had two different exits to get out,” said David Collins, who was inside the restaurant at the time.
Officers said Bafico was alert, conscious and breathing when he was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital. At last check, he was listed in critical, but stable, condition.
A representative with Ford Fry Restaurants released the following statement Tuesday morning:
"An incident occurred at JCT. Kitchen on Monday, August 28, around 9 p.m., and the Atlanta Police Department immediately arrived to the scene. We are working diligently with APD, the property security team and city inspectors as they investigate what is believed to be a targeted, isolated act intended for robbery, with the victim having come to the restaurant after shopping in Buckhead. The security and well-being of our guests and employees are always our first priority: We have off-duty APD officers present at the restaurant in addition to 24-hour security on-property at Westside Provisions District. We are saddened by this unforeseen circumstance and will continue to support all involved with the investigation to remain a safe environment."