K&L BBQ employee shares her scary story: 'I thought I was not going home to my child'

Posted at 4:06 PM, Mar 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-01 16:46:33-05

PETERSBURG, Va. -- A K&L BBQ employee robbed at gunpoint Friday morning inside the iconic Hopewell, Virginia restaurant called the crime the scariest thing she'd ever experienced.

"I honestly thought I was not going home to my child tonight," the employee, who asked her identity not be made public, told CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil. "I thought I was going to be dead. I thought I won’t leaving here alive."

Four masked assailants robbed the restaurant at about 7:30 a.m., according to Hopewell Police.

The employee who agreed to share their experience said the day began like most at the restaurant.

K&L BBQ robbery in Hopewell, Virginia

"I started to put the pies and the cobblers around on the dessert table," she said. "[Then] I came back around the corner and three men and a woman — all masked up, with hats and gloves and sunglasses and everything — came rushing in the back door and cussing at me and pushed me on the ground."

The masked assailants put a gun to her head. A few minutes into the robbery, a man arrived to service the restaurant's grease trap.

The robbers pushed him to the ground, forced the pair into the kitchen, and tied their hands.

When the restaurant owner arrived, the violence continued.

"They pushed him on the floor in the dining room, they shot at his head, the bullet landed right beside his head," the employee said. "They just kept hitting him with the gun and beating him in the head with the gun."


Soon there were six restaurant employees and family members in the building — all threatened by the intruders.

"I just kept begging them, please don’t kill me," the employee said.

Ultimately, the robbers walked away without anyone suffering serious physical injuries.

K&L BBQ robbery in Hopewell, Virginia

“I’m just thankful to be alive," the employee said. "I just kept begging them, please don’t kill me, I have an eight-year-old son."

The employee said she feared for the restaurant owners who she knew were due at the restaurant shortly after the robbery began.

"I let [the robbers] know ahead of time my little cousin was going to be with my grandparents when they arrived, to let them know a child was coming in the building," she said.

The robbers left the little boy alone, but the child did see his grandfather get hurt and heard the gunshots.

At one point, the child reportedly asked the robbers not to shoot him because "He was just a little boy."

Anyone with information was asked to call Hopewell Police Lead Detective Colton Chadek at 804-541-2284.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.

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