Man Charged Over Fatal Shooting of 19-Year-Old Friend in McDonald's Bathroom

A Missouri man has been charged over the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old friend inside a McDonald's bathroom.

Officers responded to the McDonald's on Highway 7 in Blue Springs, Missouri, after a report of shots fired at around 7.50 p.m. on Monday, the Blue Springs Police Department said in a news release.

They identified the victim as Harry Bowers of Lee's Summit. Bowers was found shot inside a bathroom and was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Joseph Mayes, 20, has since been charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in connection with the shooting, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced in a news release on Tuesday.

According to court records, Mayes and Bowers were friends who often played a game where they pointed unloaded guns at each other and pulled the trigger.

A manager at the McDonald's told police she is "good friends" with Bowers, court documents said, and that she had been hanging out with Bowers, Mayes and her boyfriend at the restaurant on Monday night.

When the restaurant ran out of ketchup, she had gone to another McDonald's nearby to get more.

She was outside when Mayes then came running out of the McDonald's saying he had accidentally shot Bowers. He then fled the scene, according to the court documents.

Blue Springs police were informed by law enforcement in nearby Grain Valley that Mayes and another man had traveled there to find a place to "hide out."

Officers with Grain Valley police then took Mayes and two others into custody shortly before 10 p.m.

A spokesperson for Blue Springs Police Department told Newsweek that the two others detained by police were interviewed and released without charge.

In an interview with Blue Springs police on Tuesday, Mayes told officers that he and Bowers often pointed guns at each other.

Mayes said he was at the urinal in the McDonald's bathroom when Bowers came up behind him, placed his gun to Mayes' stomach and "pulled the trigger to hear it click."

The court documents say Mayes then pulled out his own gun, pointed it at Bowers and pulled the trigger. Mayes told police he didn't know there was a bullet in his gun.

Mayes went to check on Bowers, who had fallen to the ground. "You shot me," Bowers told Mayes, the court documents say.

Mayes told police he then ran outside, met up with friends and tried to change the way he looked. He went to the home of a relative, who convinced him to turn himself in.

The court documents said Mayes asked about Bowers in his police interview. After learning that Bowers had died, Mayes "became very emotional and started crying."

"We are saddened by this troubling incident and our hearts go out to the victim," Jill Hill, a McDonald's owner/operator, said in a statement to Newsweek.

"The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority and we are thankful no one else was injured. We are working closely with local authorities to assist in their investigation."

This article has been updated with a comment from a spokesperson for the Blue Springs Police Department, information from the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office and a statement from McDonald's.

McDonald's
Stock photo. A man has been charged after the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old in a McDonald's bathroom in Blue Springs, Missouri. Getty