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Paris waiter shot dead after 'customer complains sandwich was served too slowly'

David Chazan
Policemen stand in front of the eatery where a waiter was shot dead by an allegedly angry customer - AFP

A manhunt was under way on Sunday after a waiter was shot dead by a customer at a café on the outskirts of Paris, apparently for being too slow to serve him. 

Enraged at being made to wait for a sandwich, the customer pulled out a handgun and shot the 28-year-old waiter in the shoulder, witnesses said.

The waiter was still conscious when police and an ambulance arrived minutes after the Friday night shooting, but frantic efforts to save him failed and he died at the Mistral pizza and sandwich outlet in the east Paris suburb of Noisy-le-Grand.

Witnesses helped police identify a suspect, described as a 34-year-old man with a criminal record. Detectives searched his home but have not tracked down the suspect, who is now wanted for murder.

A police source said he was “determined and very dangerous” and warned the public not to approach him.  After the shooting, stunned and horrified local residents gathered outside.

A witness said: “He got very agitated and flew into a terrible rage that his sandwich wasn’t being made fast enough.”

A resident asked in disbelief: “He was killed over a sandwich? How can that happen?” “It’s sad," a 29-year-old woman said.

“This is a quiet restaurant, without any problems. It only opened a few months ago.”

Some residents, however, said the neighbourhood had become dangerous because of a recent surge in crime, with drug-dealing and gang-members getting drunk on the streets.

“People can be killed over nothing these days,” a 52-year-old woman said. “People in this area are living in fear now. You can be beaten up for refusing to give someone a cigarette, looking at them the wrong way or parking in a space they wanted.”