Man charged with pointing gun at Somali teens at McDonald’s in Eden Prairie
An Eden Prairie man was charged Monday with felony terroristic threats for allegedly pulling a gun on a group of Somali teenagers at McDonalds.
Lloyd E. Johnson, 55, also was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit, a gross misdemeanor. Johnson was charged by summons and a first appearance has not yet been set.
Mr. Johnson did everything he could to provoke this incident, by insulting the young lady in front of him, to confronting a second person and finally pulling a gun after he already had moved away from the confrontation, said Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman.
While he is innocent until proven guilty, this is outrageous behavior and it is only through sheer luck that no one was injured by his actions.
Several of the teens spoke at a news conference Monday morning, saying that they had feared for their lives. Freeman was scheduled to hold a new conference at 1:30 p.m. Monday to discuss the charges.
According to the complaint, two young women told police on Nov. 19 that they were attempting to pay for their food at an Eden Prairie McDonalds with a digital app, but it was not working.
Johnson, who was behind them, told them to hurry up and then said you were probably trying to pay with EBT, the Electronic Benefit Transfer card used to transfer federal food assistance benefits to stores that accept them.
One of the women turned and answered him back. According to the complaint, Johnson then approached the other woman, said some things to her and balled his hand into a fist, making her fear that he was going to hit her. The first woman went into the dining area to get some of their friends, who began arguing with Johnson, the complaint states.
One of the women said Johnson broke away from the group but returned seconds later with his cellphone, appearing to record the argument. He then told everyone to back up and pulled a handgun from his waistband before walking out the door, according to the complaint.
Investigators immediately obtained short clips of the incident from cellphones. But it took a week to get the store video, which shows Johnson saying something to the two women and then moving close to the face of one of them.
It shows another man, who was at the counter, approach Johnson, who slaps away the mans hand and appears to take an aggressive posture. It then shows Johnson backing away, taking out his cellphone and re-engaging the group.
When police interviewed him, Johnson admitted making the comment about EBT and that it was insulting. He also admitted he did not have a permit to carry a firearm, according to the complaint.
Police recovered a STYR M40 semiautomatic handgun from Johnson, with a magazine loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition.
David Chanen 612-673-4465