( 4UMF NEWS ) Applebee’s Manager Killed After Locking Up:
An Applebee’s manager was fatally shot early Sunday after locking up the restaurant for the night, according to reports.
Police say Gregory Smith, 27, closed up the eatery in Fayetteville, Ga. just south of Atlanta at around 3 a.m. but his worried girlfriend found him dead in his car at the Applebee’s parking lot at 792 North Glynn St. three and a half hours later, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
She had become worried when Smith didn’t get home after his Saturday night shift, the newspaper reported.
Investigators discovered gunshot wounds on Smith’s body and they say that shell casings scattered in the lot and a hole in the driver’s side window of Smith’s red BMW show that one or more other people fired the shots that killed him, WXIA-TV reported.
The Fayetteville Police Department is investigating his death as a homicide, Lt. Mike Whitlow told the TV station.
Applebee’s is offering a “significant” reward to any tipsters who help cops catch and convict a suspect in Smith’s death, according to the Journal-Constitution.
Police have canvassed the area for surveillance video that may have captured anything Sunday morning and they’re hoping that witnesses who were in the area between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. may provide more information, WSB-TV reported.
“Fayetteville is still a fairly busy place that time of night,” Whitlow told WSB. “We’re asking anyone who may have seen anything, even if they think it is the smallest detail, not suspicious or not important, to call us, because at this time, it’s very important.”
Friends of Smith remembered the College Park native fondly in posts on the TV station’s Facebook page. One user said she and her husband had been in the restaurant the night before and brought a complaint about their meal to Smith. “He didn’t hesitate to correct the problem,” she wrote.
“This is just heart wrenching and sad,” the user added. “My continued prayers and condolences.”
Another commenter memorialized the restaurant manager she identified as her very close friend.
“I can assure everyone this was more than likely not personal,” she wrote. “He had a personality that would make anyone smile. Crime is everywhere. And more often than not it’s those that are innocent that get hurt.”
She added, “Please pray for his family. They are having a hard tell grasping this.”
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