NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Family and friends of a fast food restaurant manager critically injured in a shooting weren't surprised when they heard he stepped in to stop the assailants.
Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said 34-year-old Maurice Farris tackled one of three masked robbers who entered the back door at a Burger King in Madison on Monday.
During the struggle with the alleged gunman, 18-year-old Kenneth Jernigan, Farris was shot and taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he remained in critical but stable condition.
Jernigan was also shot, and died.
Authorities released surveillance pictures of the two other accomplices and a small white SUV used in the getaway.
"I know he's a fighter, and I'm 100% sure he will come back from this but it's still scary," said Benjamin Boshers, Farris' childhood best friend. "You don't realize how scary it really is."
Boshers told NewsChannel 5 he has been in touch with Farris' family who has stayed by his side at the hospital.
He said he is not surprised that his friend, whom he referred to as brother, would step in to protect the other employees.
"He's one of those people with a really big heart. He'll look out for you before himself every time," Boshers added. "Even if he's not your friend, he's your best friend."
The two have known each other since they were children, and lived together at one point in Giles County where Farris is from. Although they no longer live in the same city, they have stayed in touch for so many years.
While the search for the other robbers continue, Boshers shared a message for them.
"A gun in your hand doesn't make you a man," he stated. "These guys need to be caught and step forward or something because my brother is fighting for his life for some cowardly action that someone else did."
Anyone knowing persons with whom Jernigan was recently associating is asked to make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME. Callers are issued code numbers are eligible for cash rewards.