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Wendy’s employee shot in head by customer out of ICU, making progress

Brian Durham Jr, 16, is off a ventilator and no longer in the ICU after being severely injured while he was working the cash register at a local Wendy’s.

PHOENIX — At 16 years old, Brian Durham Jr. will have to learn how to talk again but there was a chance he wouldn't live at all.

The teenager was severely injured after being shot in the head by a customer while he was working at a Wendy’s on 19th Avenue and Glendale Road on Thursday.

An argument over BBQ sauce between another employee and the customer at the drive-thru window was allegedly what led to the shooting, the teen’s father Brian Durham Sr. said.

“He was going to start speech therapy today,” his father said. “He is slowly making progress.”

Durham Jr., or B-Man as his family likes to call him, is out of the ICU and was moved to his own room on Monday, according to his family.

The teen is off a ventilator and breathing on his own. He follows commands and can move his legs and hands, his father said.

Phoenix police arrested and booked Theotis Polk, 27, in connection to the shooting.

“It was senseless, [he] shot a little boy in the head that had nothing to do with the situation, so [he traumatized] him for the rest of his life,” Durham Sr. said.

B-Man had been working at Wendy’s for about four months, applying and getting hired shortly after he turned 16. His father said he wanted to help his mother pay bills.

“By going to the military, he was going to help the world,” Durham Sr. said. “He likes helping people.”

The teen's dad is now holding on to the memories spent with his son in hopes of replaying them soon.

“He would have [taken] my son from me, but God willingly [he didn’t],” Durham Sr. said. “I got it in my heart that God was with us. And people, I don’t know from where they're helping us out and we just want to thank y’all.”

Polk is facing multiple felony charges including aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a prohibited possessor.

The family set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses.

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