Tyvyn Brown and Aboubakar Camara, both 15, were arrested and charged with armed robbery at Zaxby's, 4001 Harper-Franklin Ave., according to Richmond County sheriff's Sgt. Richard Roundtree.
The juveniles were charged as adults under Georgia's Seven Deadly Sins statute, he said.
The armed robbery occurred just after 3 p.m., when the masked teens entered the business and demanded money, Sgt. Calvin Chew said. A surveillance videotape of the incident confirms that Mr. Camara fired three shots into the restaurant's ceiling.
Both teens ran toward the counter and demanded money from a clerk, Sgt. Chew said. After taking the cash, the two ran from the restaurant and crossed the four-lane Dyess Parkway toward an open field which adjoins the Belair Estates subdivision near the Columbia County line.
Mr. Camara was captured in Belair Estates after a brief chase with deputies, Sgt. Roundtree said. Mr. Brown was later arrested at his residence on Leadville Court in the Breckenridge subdivision behind the restaurant. Mr. Camara lives in the same neighborhood.
The Zaxby's franchise is located about a half-mile from Fort Gordon's Gate 1 and opened for business less than a year ago.
Sgt. Chew said about 20 customers and employees were inside the business during the shooting.
"Total disregard for public safety," he said.
No one was robbed or injured, he said.
Investigators canvassed Belair Estates searching for the weapon. A Georgia State Patrol helicopter helped in the search.
Employee Sean Stanton, 21, said he was standing near a counter when he heard what sounded like a cooking pan striking the floor.
"A manager said, 'He's got a gun.' That's when me and another guy ran out the back door," he said.
Mr. Stanton said employees saw the suspects sitting on a curb outside the restaurant minutes before the robbery and they might have recently completed employment applications to work at the restaurant.
Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.