Source: Review Journal

A gunman opened fire during a thwarted robbery at a McDonald’s restaurant Monday, killing a 9-year-old girl before an off-duty police officer mortally wounded him, authorities said.

Police Lt. Jim Lindley said during a news conference that the gunman entered an employees’ entrance and handed a note to the manager, who then told employees they were being robbed.

An off-duty Barstow officer eating in the restaurant tried to confront the gunman, who opened fire, Lindley said.

It was not clear why the gunman started shooting. But during the gun battle that ensued, the officer shot the gunman, who was reportedly airlifted in critical condition to a hospital, where he later died.

Lindley said the 25-year-old gunman, who died about 6 p.m., had a lengthy criminal record.

He did not release the identities of the gunman or the victim.

Calls to the Police Department Monday night were not returned. Officials said they were preparing a news release but had not completed it.

A security camera showed the shot that killed the girl came from the gunman, not the officer, Lindley said.

Randy Emon, San Bernardino County deputy coroner inspector, said late Monday he did not have the names.

Various news reports said another person was wounded, but that could not immediately be confirmed.

The McDonald’s was in Barstow Station, a popular stopping point for travelers. In addition to the restaurant, it includes an ice cream and candy shop and gas station in a building that resembles an old time train station.

Barstow, 120 miles northeast of Los Angeles, is at the junction of Interstates 15 and 40 in the Mojave Desert.

It was not the first fatal shooting at a McDonald’s restaurant in California. On June 8 of this year, a man apparently involved in a child custody drop-off allegedly shot the mother, with the children standing nearby, outside a crowded McDonald’s restaurant in Rancho Cucamonga.

Last December, a 17-year-old was killed and two people were injured when a former employee went on a shooting rampage at a Vallejo McDonald’s.

Added: 2004