The Slatest

French Waiter Shot Dead Over Long Wait for a Sandwich

Policemen stand in front of the restaurant.
Outside the waiter’s restaurant in the eastern Paris suburb of Noisy-le-Grand on Saturday.
Tiphaine Le Liboux/Getty Images

A customer shot and killed a waiter at a pizzeria outside Paris on Friday night because, according to witnesses, he was angry over how long he had to wait for his sandwich. The shooting took place at a restaurant called Mistral in Noisy-le-Grand, which is east of Paris. The customer became so enraged at the wait that he insulted the 28-year-old waiter, took out a handgun, and shot him in the shoulder. Paramedics arrived quickly but were unable to revive the waiter, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The gunman fled the restaurant and was still on the run as of Sunday. Area residents were incredulous at the news. “He was killed for a sandwich?” one local resident asked. And while some residents said that the restaurant never had any problems, others said it reflected the growing levels of crime in the area.

Some politicians were quick to blame immigration for the shooting. Jean Messiha, a top member of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, linked the shooting to “mass immigration” in a tweet. But local authorities pushed back, with Sylvain Thézard, chief of staff of Noisy-le-Grand’s mayor, insisting the shooting was not a reflection of a broader problem. “We are shocked by the comments on social networks that make a lot of confusion,” he said. “Crime rates are declining in our city. This murder is by no means the result of a deeper problem. It’s nothing but sad news.”