McDonald's surveillance video of robbery suspect Jestin Anthony Joseph.
McDonald's surveillance video of robbery suspect Jestin Anthony Joseph. (YouTube)

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Some things are simply difficult to explain. And then there is the power of prayer and divine intervention.

On Tuesday, a would-be robber walked into a Fort Worth McDonald’s demanding customers’ property. Surveillance cameras captured the man pulling the trigger of his gun at least five times, but the gun did not fire. When he stepped outside the restaurant and tried again, a shot rang out.

The man returned to the store, and the same thing happened. He walked outside again, and the gun fired.

No one was injured in the incident.

Meanwhile, the mother of suspect Jestin Anthony Joseph, who had told police hours earlier that she feared her son was suicidal, along with other members of the family prayed for her son, whom she believes had a mental breakdown. 

Joseph’s mother told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram she believes the gun malfunctioned because they were praying.

“Last night, I told God to keep Jestin, and that’s what I do believe happened,” said his mother, who asked not to be identified to avoid any repercussions for her and her other children. “The only thing I can say is that it was not my son. He was not in his right mind.”

Fort Worth police robbery Sgt. Joe Loughman could not offer an explanation as to why the gun did not fire inside the restaurant.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Loughman told the Star-Telegram. “It must not have been their time to go.”

Loughman said there were about 15 people—employees and customers, including young children—inside the store at approximately 9 p.m. when a man walked into the store and asked for a cup of water. He then brandished a semiautomatic handgun and demanded their possessions.

Referring to the video, Loughman told the Star-Telegram, “It appears that he is pulling the trigger, but the weapon does not fire.”

The surveillance video shows at least one man tried to wrestle the gun away from the suspect. Loughman said after the suspect went back outside, he got the gun to work and fired two shots at a passing vehicle that did not stop. The suspect then fled the scene and ditched the gun but was arrested shortly afterward, and the gun was retrieved.

“We are extremely grateful that no one was hurt during the situation that occurred on our property Tuesday evening,” McDonald’s USA said in a statement. “The safety of our customers and employees is extremely important, and we are fully cooperating with the Fort Worth Police Department in their ongoing investigation.”

The Star-Telegram reports that Allen Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jon Felty said Joseph has had several run-ins with police previously, including tickets for possession of drug paraphernalia and arrests on a narcotics-related warrant and assault.

The Star-Telegram also reports that Joseph’s mother said the boy’s father had a history of mental illness as well.

“I would have never in a million years thought that he would have gone to that point,” she told the Star-Telegram. “I know that the same spirit that grabbed hold of his dad and took his dad mentally, grabbed Jestin. I could hear that with Jestin, in the things he was saying.” 

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