An alleged gunman has been charged with murder after police say he shot another man to death at point blank range in front of his wife and two children as the family ate breakfast at a Joliet restaurant roughly 40 miles southeast of Chicago.
Christopher Leon Thompson, 31, was charged Sunday with the murder of 29-year-old Gerardo Franchini. According to the Associated Press, investigators say Thompson walked into Louis' Family Restaurant Saturday morning and shot Franchini multiple times, killing him. No one else in the restaurant was injured.
“Screaming, ducking, people flipping tables and hiding under them," the server said, "Glass is breaking. I mean dishes everywhere, food everywhere. His little girls were crying and screaming, asking for their dad."
The popular restaurant was "packed" when the shooting occurred around 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning, according to the Sun-Times. Restaurant owner Louis Polimenakos told the paper Thompson and his girlfriend were at the front of the restaurant while Franchini ate in the back with his wife and two young daughters.
The two reportedly exchanged heated words prompting Thompson to leave and return just 10 or 15 minutes later alone, and armed. "(The suspect) went over to the table, leaned over and just unloaded, right in front of the kids," another unnamed server told the Tribune.
Thompson's motive is still unclear, though various reports indicate the two men both had troubled pasts that included run-ins with the law and drug charges.
In addition to the murder charge, Thompson faces two felony counts of use of a firearm by a felon and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, according to NBC Chicago.