Charges dropped against McDonald’s employee accused of fatally shooting customer, Shelby County DA responds

Preston Deener
Preston Deener(SCSO)
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 9:45 PM CDT|Updated: May. 13, 2023 at 3:38 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The charges against an Orange Mound McDonald’s employee accused of fatally shooting a customer in March have been dropped.

According to court records, Preston Deener, 36, was already a convicted murderer and had a warrant for domestic assault when he allegedly shot and killed a woman through the drive-through window on March 13.

Police responded to the fast food restaurant on Trezevant Street at 2:58 a.m. and found the victim unresponsive on the pavement outside, suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

She was pronounced dead on the scene.

Video surveillance showed that the victim was speaking to the manager through the drive-through window about an order being wrong.

A man, later identified as Deener, is then seen arguing with the victim through the window.

During the argument, the woman pulled out a firearm and is seen on surveillance video tapping it against the window. She then lowers the gun and the argument continues.

Deener then backs up, pulls out a small handgun from his left pocket, points the gun at the victim, and fires one shot through the window, striking her in the chest.

He then fled the scene.

Witnesses identified Deener as the person responsible and he was soon after arrested and charged with second-degree murder and possessing a handgun as a convicted felon.

He was released on his own recognizance two days later, and on Friday, the case was dismissed due to “no probable cause.”

Action News 5 formally reached out to the District Attorney’s Office for a statement regarding the dismissal of the charges.

The DA office responded with more information about why exactly the charges were dropped against Deener.

According to investigators, the Deener’s actions were acts of self-defense. The customer, according to reports, had a gun and was threatening the employee.

The judge found that there was no probable cause and dropped the charges.

The Shelby County DA’s office is still investigating and may decide to take the case to the grand jury.

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