McDonald’s restaurants holding fundraiser for families of 2 slain employees

Richelle Scott Lail
Richelle Scott Lail Go Fund Me

All 15 McDonald’s restaurants in Caldwell, Catawba and Burke counties will host a fundraiser for the families of two employees killed outside a McDonald’s on U.S. 321 in Hickory last week.

Police charged Eric Terril Yount, 22, of Granite Falls, with first-degree murder in the shooting death of McDonald’s manager trainee Richelle Scott Lail, 22, of Hudson.

Yount was charged with attempted murder in the shooting of McDonald’s assistant manager Cody William Watts, 28, of Hickory. Watts died of his injuries Friday, and police intend to change the charge to murder.

Police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance in the parking lot of the McDonald’s about 6 p.m. Wednesday and found Lail on the ground with gunshot wounds. Officers found Watts sitting in a vehicle also suffering from gunshot wounds.

Lail died at the scene, and Watts was taken to a hospital. The killings appear to be domestic-related, police said.

McDonald’s, meanwhile, is offering a way for the community to help the families of the victims.

Monday through Sunday, one dollar from every Big Mac Extra Value Meal sold at the 15 restaurants will be donated to the families, along with any additional donations made by customers in the restaurants and online at Go Fund Me pages for Lail and Watts.

“Our local McDonald’s family has been devastated by what’s happened,” said John Link, who owns and operates the restaurant where Lail and Watts worked. “We’ve been humbled to be part of our employees’ lives, and we’re humbled again when their family members allow us to grieve alongside them during this difficult time.”

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak