Police: Man shot at Applebee's over 49ers game argument

by: Carl Willis Updated:

DULUTH,None - A man claims he was shot over a football game Saturday night as he left an Applebee's restaurant in Gwinnett County.

Corey Adams, 30, said he was at the restaurant on Pleasant Hill Rd in Duluth celebrating with a friend before the shooting happened.

He said he and his friend were watching an NFL playoff game and rooting for the San Francisco 49ers. He said a New Orleans Saints fan took offense to his cheering and had words with him.

"The only thing me and my buddy said was, we were excited that the 49ers scored," Adams said. "It was only one touchdown."

Adams said the man paid for his food and left in a hurry saying that he would be back, but he just brushed it off.

"I saw him pop a pill," Adams said.

An hour and a half later, Adams, his girlfriend and his friend, who had just moved back home from California, walked out of the restaurant and got into a car.

Moments later, Adams said the Saints fan appeared wearing a hoodie and started shooting.

Gwinnett County police said the shooter was Donald Ayro.

Adams' friend, 30-year-old Chris Middleton, was shot in the chest. Adams had to run for safety.

"I took off running and he started shooting at me and shot like four or five times and he grazed the back of my head," Adams said as he showed a hole in his cap and a slight wound on the crown of his head.

He had to duck behind a car and run around a building to get to safety.

All of this happened around 6:30 p.m., and police said the parking lot was packed as bullets flew.

Adams said he's just hoping his friend will pull through.

"He was talking," Adams said "He was laying on the ground talking about his kids, talking about his wife."

Gwinnet County police said they were interviewing several witnesses and possible suspects Saturday night.

Police said Middleton was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center in critical condition.

Adams said he was taken to another location where he identified the shooter.

Police said they used a description of the shooter and his vehicle to locate him driving south on Interstate 85.

Ayro, 31, was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Police said additional charges may be filed.