MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two men are in critical condition after shooting at each other in a fight over a shoe sale at an IHOP in Parkway Village, police said.
Memphis police said they responded to a shooting call at 2:40 Friday afternoon at the restaurant near Perkins and American Way, where they say two men were meeting at the location in two separate vehicles.
One man got out of his car and into the other to collect money from a man who had purchased shoes from him, police said. But the buyer apparently gave him counterfeit money.
When the seller confronted him, the other man pulled a gun, police said. At that point the first man began firing at the car.
One man drove away, then struck a fence at a hotel in the 2600 block of Thousand Oaks a short distance away. He was found walking in the parking lot with a gunshot wound and taken to Regional One.
A witness told police he saw a car drive up to the vehicle that crashed into the hotel fence. The driver of that vehicle got out, opened the back door of the crashed vehicle, and fired several shots, police said.
Another other man fled the scene and ended up at St. Francis Hospital. He was in critical condition and was transferred to Regional One, police said.
Officers said they recovered a gun and marijuana from the scene. The men apparently met through Facebook.
Bullets from the shooting struck a nearby vehicle driven by a woman who said she was leaving lunch at the IHOP with her 71-year-old mother.
The innocent bystanders who were leaving the IHOP parking lot said they did not know the shooters.
“I was driving. My mother was in the passenger seat and we both just when we heard the first shot we got down and I just sped off," the woman said. "I just heard the 'pop pop.' I couldn’t even tell you how many times he fired. I don’t know. I was just trying to get out."
She and her mother were unharmed, though their car was riddled with bullets and a window was blown out.
Police said the IHOP shooting is also related to a car with a bullet hole in the windshield that was involved in a wreck at Ridgeway and Park, near St. Francis Hospital.
In Parkway Village, there’s a sense of defeat; people seem resigned to the violence affecting innocent people.
“Just getting shot in the crossfire when you’re minding your own business. That’s what happens," one man said.
“It’s sad. Welcome to Memphis. That’s all I can say," said the woman whose car was hit.