Officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) received reports of the incident shortly before 9.30pm local time on Saturday and arrived to find an employee suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Witnesses said that McLendon had become irate after “believing he had been an incorrect amount of change,” according to the CMPD.
“The suspect proceeded to leave the drive-thru and come inside the restaurant where he became more aggressive, produced a firearm and began shooting inside the restaurant,” a statement from the force read.”
McLendon then fled the scene, leaving the victim – who was later transported to hospital – with “life-threatening injuries”.
His vehicle was identified from further witness statements and CCTV footage from the restaurant, and officers were able to locate it at an apartment complex.
McLendon later walked out and surrendered without incident, and was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and discharging a weapon into occupied property.
A spokesperson for Taco Bell said: “We are shocked to hear that this happened.
“We understand that the franchise owner and operator of this location is working with the local authorities in their investigation and will be offering support to all team members present.”