Support adds up for restaurant owner who was injured in road-rage shooting

K.C. Deez BBQ and Pacific Christian Academy recently hosted a fundraiser for Jay Barbour at the Federal Way Farmers Market.

Community members and a Federal Way business recently banded together to raise funds for a local restaurant owner who was severely injured in a road-rage shooting in June.

Jay Barbour, 45, is the owner of the Mediterranean Gyro Grill restaurants in Federal Way and Tacoma. On June 23, he was shot following a road rage incident near the intersection of 29th Street NE and Norpoint Way NE near Marine View Drive.

When first responders arrived, they found Barbour had been shot in the back. At the hospital, doctors discovered Barbour had been shot once in the spine, nearly severing his spinal cord. According to court documents, the suspect of the shooting is Mason Zavier Taylor, 20, of Federal Way. Taylor was charged with first-degree assault and drive-by shooting in Pierce County Superior Court. He pleaded not guilty on June 30 and his jury trial began Aug. 17.

As of Aug. 17, Barbour has returned home and is constantly supported by his family members, said Marwa Almasri, Barbour’s sister-in-law.

“Now he needs help when he wakes up, eats … everything in his life changed,” she said on Aug. 16. “We always pray for miracles.”

The shooting also changed the lives of Barbour’s wife, his four daughters and his brother, Yamin, who quit his job in order to take over the operations of Barbour’s restaurant full time, Almasri said. The family is also renovating their home to put in an elevator for Barbour to have better accessibility.

Almasri graciously thanked the community for the outpouring of support.

“We appreciate everything the community has done for Jay,” she said. “Regardless of the financial things, the love has touched his heart. He felt how much people love him, the community loves him, how much the customers love him.”

Over the weekend, K.C. Deez BBQ and Pacific Christian Academy hosted a fundraiser for Barbour and his family at the Federal Way Farmers Market. Through a portion of sales and donations, K.C. Deez BBQ raised $1,000, said owner De Davis.

Davis met Barbour several years ago as K.C. Deez BBQ was establishing its brick-and-mortar location along South 336th Street. As permits were finalized, the BBQ food truck parked out front.

“Jay would come by — I didn’t even know who he was at the time — and he would come by as a customer,” Davis said.

As they became friends, Davis learned about Barbour’s restaurant. The two would see each other around town or in local restaurant depot stores and always had time for a chat. They would trade information, exchange gift cards and support each other’s businesses. Last year, Davis and Barbour teamed up to donate food to hospital nurses and staff.

The news of Barbour’s injury shocked and sadden him, he said.

“The way I know him and the things that he’s done for the community … that goes to show you he’s a good guy,” Davis said. “I was just blown away that happened to him. I still can’t believe it. When it happened, I was devastated.”

Davis said he was amazed by the community support reflected in the donation amount.

Shortly after the June incident, a customer put together a GoFundMe account help with his medical costs. So far, the community has raised $23,730 of a $25,000 goal.