FORT WORTH — A Texas mother is crediting answered prayer for sparing what police believe could have been a massacre this week at a McDonald’s restaurant in Fort Worth.
According to reports, 24-year-old Jestin Joseph entered the fast food restaurant on Tuesday and asked for a cup. Moments later, he pulled out a handgun and demanded both staff and patrons to hand over their possessions. Approximately 15 people, including children, were in the building.
However, when Joseph attempted to fire his gun, nothing happened. After several tries, he stepped outside to fire the weapon. It worked.
Nonetheless, when Joseph walked back into the building and pulled the trigger, the gun would not fire. He then stepped outside a second time to try to find out what was wrong with the handgun, but it worked perfectly fine.
The incident was captured on video, including shots of Joseph pulling the trigger to no avail.
“I’ve never seen a video like this before,” Fort Worth detective Joe Loughman told reporters. “My gut feeling is the city of Fort Worth and the Fort Worth police department avoided a major tragedy on Tuesday night.”
Joseph was taken into custody and remains in jail on $500,000 bail.
In an interview with NBC News affiliate KXAS this week, Joseph told reporters that he began hearing voices on Sunday, and continues to hear them.
“I walked into McDonald’s, asked for water, went to the machine and, as soon as I did, dude said something to me,” he recounted to the outlet. “That’s when I pulled the gun, and I lost it.”
However, Joseph’s mother, who is concealing her identity for protective purposes, told the Star-Telegram this week that she believes her prayers for her son that night thwarted a massacre.
“Last night, I told God to keep Jestin, and that’s what I do believe happened,” she told the publication. “I did not know he even had a gun.”
She believes that her son had a mental breakdown, and states that her husband had also struggled with mental uses.
“I would have never in a million years thought he would have gone to that point,” she explained. “I know that same spirit that grabbed ahold of his dad and took his dad mentally, grabbed Jestin.”
She stated that she knew something was wrong when during a telephone conversation, Joseph began expressing fears that someone was after him.
“He said, ‘They’re trying to kill me, Mama! I’m going to die tonight! I’m going to die tonight!’” she recalled.
Davidge Armstrong, who tussled with Joseph that night, told CNN that he could hear the gun clicking, but it would not fire.
“When I seen the guy pull the pistol out and he was yelling, ‘Give me your money; give me your money,’ I could hear the gun clicking. He was pulling the trigger,” he recounted. “[He was] pulling the trigger towards me, but still it was just clicking.”
“[It was] God,” Armstrong asserted. “That’s all it was. That’s all it could have been.”