4 shot, 1 dead in Alabama restaurant

HURTSBORO, Ala. (CBS NEWS) - - A gunman stormed a restaurant in eastern Alabama Wednesday morning, killing the restaurant owner and wounding three others before he was taken into custody at his home, officials say.

Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor says officers responded to reports of shots fired around 6:30 a.m. Eastern time at the City Grill in Hurtsboro. He said the suspect entered the restaurant where about 8-10 people were eating breakfast, called out the name of the longtime restaurant owner and opened fire with a .22 caliber long rifle.

The owner, Donnie Hughes, died, Taylor said. One person was critically wounded and two others suffered non-life-threatening injuries. 

The suspect then ran to his home, Taylor said. Police responded and surrounded the house, but were able to convince him to come out with his hands up after calling him on his cellphone.

Taylor declined to identify the gunman, saying he was concerned media coverage of mass shootings was encouraging copycats. He said the gunman and the victim who died knew each other, but didn't know the extent of the relationship.

Taylor said he's known the victim, Hughes, for years, and that the City Grill was a longtime staple in the small community. He said he and many others in his department had eaten at the restaurant"counteless times," where Hughes insisted to cover meals for law enforcement.

"Donny wouldn't let any of the law enforcement buy anything, he was just that kind of guy," Taylor said. 

Taylor indicated that he was familiar with the suspect and that he possibly had mental illness, but didn't elaborate. 

"I don't think anybody in this town who knows the offender would have thought his would have occurred," Taylor said.

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