UPDATE: Suspect identified; Restaurant owner killed in Hurtsboro shooting

Donnie Hughes, owner of City Grill (Source: Parker Branton)
Donnie Hughes, owner of City Grill (Source: Parker Branton)

HURTSBORO, AL (WTVM) - The Russell County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting that injured three people and killed the owner of a long-time restaurant in East Alabama Wednesday morning.

The Russell County Sheriff's Office arrested 64-year-old Walter Thomas after he allegedly fired several rounds in the restaurant. Thomas is charged with murder and three counts of attempted murder.

"It is a sad day that we have to work this type of case and I am certainly here for the family of all who were shot," Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said.

The shooting happened at the City Grill restaurant located at 531 Main Street. Donald Hughes, the owner of the restaurant was identified as the man shot and killed Wednesday morning.

"He was absolutely one of the nicest people you will ever meet," Taylor said.

John Williams, 74, Roy Johnson, 70, and John Harden,74, were also injured in the shooting.

Taylor says the weapon used, a .22 caliber rifle is now in the custody of the Russell County Sheriff's Office.

"My opinion that these shootings involving mentally disturbed individuals are occurring more and more because of the media attention they receive," Taylor said.

This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.

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