A would-be diner suspected of shooting a U.S. restaurant employee after he was denied service for refusing to wear a face mask has been arrested for attempted murder, police said Wednesday.

Kelvin Watson, 27, was detained Monday, after police responded to a late-night fight and gunshot last week at a Waffle House in the western state of Colorado.

The suspect had twice been refused service at the restaurant a day before the shooting for failing to wear a face covering, according to the arrest affidavit seen by AFP.

Witnesses said the suspect had placed a handgun on the counter and told a cook “I can blow your brains out right now,” the document states.

The following night the suspect returned to the restaurant and, after being told to leave, allegedly struck the cook and pursued him from the building.

“Once outside, the suspect made numerous statements to the effect of, ‘You better shut the f**k up and serve me,'” before shooting the cook once, the victim told police.

The victim is recovering in hospital, police said Wednesday.

The Waffle House in Aurora was open only for delivery and takeout services due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Charges of first-degree attempted murder are set to be filed Friday.

The defendant was released on a $100,000 bond posted Tuesday, the district attorney’s office said.


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