Police identify Waffle House waitress who was shot to death after asking customer not to smoke

Authorities and witnesses say a Mississippi Waffle House server who was shot and killed after asking a customer not to smoke was a 52-year-old longtime waitress who spent some of her final moments asking patrons how they enjoyed their Thanksgiving.

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove identified her Sunday as Julia Brightwell of Biloxi.

Gulfport police charged 45-year-old Johnny Max Mount with first-degree murder. They said he shot Brightwell early Friday after she asked him not to smoke.

Fire Chief Joe Boney tells The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/21kZuML) that Mount is a former firefighter who was badly injured in a 2002 traffic accident.

Customer Richard Bonin said Brightwell served him and two friends just before she was shot. Though she was tired, he said, she asked if they had a good Thanksgiving.