Employee guides post-prom diners to safety after gunshots fired into east side restaurant

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MADISON (WKOW) — An employee of an east side restaurant is credited with guiding patrons, including a group of girls who stopped in after their prom, to safety after gunshots rang out Sunday morning.

Madison police are looking for a suspect or suspects, responsible for gunshots fired near the Perkins Restaurant & Bakery on the 4800 block of Hayes Rd and E. Washington Avenue early Sunday morning.

When police got to the restaurant around 2 a.m., they saw multiple vehicles driving away from the area.

They also recovered over 30 spent casings, according to a post from Chief Koval.

Jovante McClain, a Perkins employee, said there were about 30 people inside the restaurant at the time. As soon as he heard the shots he said he had to react.

“My instinct was like, glad I got down fast but it kept coming,” he said. “A couple more shots came from the other side. That’s why I got up and started telling all the other customers to move to the back.”

That’s when McClain said a window shattered and employees started moving all the customers to the kitchen. Several patrons were hit with shards of glass as windows shattered.

“I made sure each guest could hear my voice and make sure they all crawled back,” he said.

Besides cuts from the glass, no one was hurt.

“Luckily everyone got down,” McClain said.

He said one of his biggest concerns was a group of high school girls who stopped by after her prom. The girls told 27 News they were in a booth close to the shattered window before employees helped them back to the kitchen.

McClain said he and the other employees comforted the girls until it was safe to leave the restaurant.

“I had to even walk them to their car,” he said. “They were crying.”

The girls said they’re grateful for the calm support from employees during the dark time.

As for McClain, while he appreciates the thanks, it was just a part of his job.

“I made sure I took care of them, cause the guests take care of me,” he said.

Casings were found in the restaurant’s parking lot, and in the lot of a nearby hotel.

Police think there could have also been shots fired from the Comfort Inn & Suites hotel across the street.

No injuries have been reported.

Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak

Social Media and Digital Content Manager, 27 News

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