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Pizza Hut employee shoots, kills robbery suspect in west Charlotte

Three suspects tried to rob the Pizza Hut on Freedom Drive early Sunday, police said. One was fatally shot by an employee at the restaurant.
Three suspects tried to rob the Pizza Hut on Freedom Drive early Sunday, police said. One was fatally shot by an employee at the restaurant. WBTV

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are investigating a fatal shooting early Sunday at a Pizza Hut on Freedom Drive, where they say an employee killed a robbery suspect.

Police were called to the Pizza Hut at 3215 Freedom Drive at 1:38 a.m. Inside, they found a man with a gunshot wound. Paramedics pronounced him dead on the scene.

The Pizza Hut was closed, and there were no customers inside at the time of the shooting. Investigators said their preliminary investigation shows three men entered the store to rob it, then encountered an employee. The employee fired his personal handgun at the alleged robbers, killing one.

The dead man was identified as Michael Renard Grace, 27. Police said they found a handgun on the scene that Grace was carrying. The other two suspects fled on foot and haven’t been arrested.

Police are still investigating, and no charges have been filed. Anyone with information is asked to call 704-432-TIPS.

It’s not the first time a Pizza Hut employee has shot and killed robbery suspects in Charlotte. In 2010, a Pizza Hut deliveryman shot and killed two robbery suspects at the Pizza Hut on East Independence Boulevard and Idlewild Road.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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