For the second time in six months, a Domino’s pizza delivery driver in New Orleans has been fatally shot while on duty.
Though food delivery is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S., Domino’s is one of several national pizza delivery chains that has a corporate policy against employees — including delivery drivers — carrying guns while on duty, even for self-defense.
New Orleans police found the driver, 36-year-old Michael Price, dead in his car from multiple gun shots in the city’s high-crime Lower 9th Ward shortly after midnight Tuesday, The Times-Picayune reported.
Price, a married father of three, had warm pizzas in his car and less than $20 on him when he was shot, WVUE reported.
A spokesman for New Orleans police could not tell TheDC whether Price was carrying a gun with him. But it is likely he would not have been if he was following Domino’s company policy and that of franchise owner RPM Pizza.
“The franchise does have a no weapons policy, as does virtually every delivery and restaurant company,” Domino’s corporate spokesman Timothy McIntyre told TheDC.
Tuesday’s shooting is the 40th homicide in New Orleans this year and comes six months after another Domino’s driver, 35-year-old Richard Yeager, was killed by two teenagers shortly after delivering a pizza in the Mid-City area.
Price’s shooting death also comes after a high-profile incident last month in which a female Domino’s delivery driver in Antioch, Cali. was robbed and raped by an armed man.
Following that attack, Breitbart News scoured news reports and found that since Jan. 2012, eight Domino’s delivery drivers have been attacked and three have been killed.
A 2014 Domino’s Franchisee Association newsletter clarifies the company’s stance on the issue of employees carrying guns. An article in the newsletter titled, “‘Bring Your Gun To Work Laws’ – Do We Have To Allow This?”, begins with a vignette of a delivery driver named Shaun who wants to start carrying a gun after a recent robbery.
“Can you tell Shaun that he is not allowed to carry his gun while doing work for you?” wrote the article’s authors, two labor lawyers.
While carrying a gun on duty provides no guarantee of safety, it at least gives workers in the high-risk job a feeling of comfort as well as a fighting chance against an attacker. Despite most national chains’ gun prohibitions, it is common for delivery drivers to carry guns on the job.
Two recent cases, including one involving a Domino’s employee, shows how just how beneficial carrying on the job can be for industry workers.
In January, a female Papa Johns delivery driver in Georgia shot a man who tried to rob her during a delivery. The woman initially feared she would be fired for violating the company’s firearms policy, but the company allowed her to stay on.
Also in January, a Blytheville, Ark. Domino’s manager named Sarah Cherry shot at three men during an attempted armed robbery. Cherry started carrying a weapon to work after her father, who also works at the store, was robbed last year. (RELATED: Pizza Parlor Employee Wards Off 3 Armed Robbers)
Cherry was allowed to keep her job following that incident as well.
This article has been updated to reflect more information, including the victim’s name. A spokesman for Domino’s told WVUE that the franchise is considering changing its policy on how drivers handle money during late-night deliveries.