August 6, 1993
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Sgt. Kenneth Junior French, angry at the recent “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, randomly targets a restaurant for a mass shooting, shooting at anyone he encounters
French claimed to not remember the events of the murders, stating he had gotten excessively drunk prior to the events. Shortly before the murders, a decision by President Bill Clinton was passed allowing homosexuals and bisexuals to serve in the military, under the condition they not divulge their sexual orientation (often called Don’t Ask Don’t Tell). The decision had struck a nerve with French and was the apparent motive behind the random attack. According to police spokesperson Sgt. Mike Ballard, “He came in the restaurant talking about Clinton and gays in the military and mumbled a few other words, and then started shooting.”
During the shooting spree, seven were injured and four killed. The murdered victims were:
- Pete Parrous, owner of the restaurant, who was shot in the face after asking French not to hurt anyone
- Ethel Parrous, Pete’s wife, who stood up screaming after her husband was killed
- Wesley Cover, shot in the head after asking French not to shoot a woman because she was pregnant. (The woman was also shot but survived.)
- James Kidd, shot as he was covering his son in a booth. His son was not physically injured.
Police arriving on the scene shot French, striking his jaw and leg, and arrested him. French was found guilty and sentenced to 4 consecutive life terms plus 35 years.