crimes

Fayetteville’s Will Tavon Francis accused of shooting Phat Daddy’s Sports Bar and Grill security guard during mask dispute

Will Tavon Francis (©Cumberland County Detention Center)

Will Tavon Francis, 29, of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States has been arrested. He was charged with attempted first-degree murder and injury to personal property.

Shortly after 11:00 p.m. on April 8, 2021, Francis and several other people tried to enter Phat Daddy’s Sports Bar and Grill, a bar owned by Kenneth Clark and located on Raeford Road in Fayetteville. Francis and his companions were not wearing face masks so they had an argument with the bar’s staff and other customers, who were masked, according to Clark.

When Francis and his companions left the bar, they were followed into the parking lot by a group of masked customers. A fightt followed and both groups drew guns, WRAL reported.

The bar’s security guards including Charles Jackson, Jr., 50, tried to stop the fight. That was when Francis shot Jackson in the head.

After shooting the security guard, Francis got in a Mercedes sports utility vehicle and drove off. The others involved in the fight also drove away.

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Francis was later arrested and booked into the Cumberland County Detention Center in Fayetteville. His bond was set at $300,500.

Meanwhile, Jackson was rushed to the University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospitals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. On April 12, 2021, he was in critical but stable condition.

Jackson is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. According to him, there have been problems with some Phat Daddy’s Sports Bar and Grill customers refusing to comply with safety guidelines amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“You don’t have to come in here,” Fox 8 quoted Clark as saying. “It’s a privilege. If you don’t want to put on the face mask, you don’t have to come in.”

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Named for French aristocrat and military officer Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, Fayetteville is the county seat of Cumberland County. The city is home to U.S. Army installation Fort Bragg.

Mitch Colvin, 47, has been serving as the mayor of Fayetteville since December 4, 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a Fayetteville City Council member for two consecutive terms from 2013 to 2017.

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