Breaking News Emails
A Subway sandwich shop worker whose social media posts about Saturday’s killing of two police officers in Mississippi sparked outrage online said her comments were misconstrued — and now she's being threatened.
"They took the status the wrong way," Sierra McCurdy of Laurel, Mississippi, told NBC News Monday.
McCurdy wrote the Facebook post following news of the fatal shooting of two officers, Benjamin J. Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 25, during a traffic stop in Hattiesburg.
"2 police officers was shot in hattiesburg tonight…GOT EM," read the post, which also included a crying-laughing emoticon and a gun emoji.
"They took it the wrong way," McCurdy said, as she explained that her comment referred to the suspects, not the cops, and that she intended to use the crying emoticon instead. Three men and a woman were quickly arrested and charged in the shooting.
On Twitter and Facebook, the reaction to her comments was swift — from some expressing their outrage that McCurdy was allegedly celebrating the deaths, to others asking Subway to hold the woman accountable.
"This kind of behavior is unacceptable and does not represent the values and ethics of our brand," read a statement from a Subway spokesperson Sunday. "The franchisee has terminated the employee, effective immediately."
But McCurdy told NBC News Monday afternoon that she hadn't been fired yet — or was at least not aware — and that she wishes people didn't boycott the sandwich shop chain.
She added that she has not deleted her social media profiles, where she has received hundreds of messages, comments and friend requests, including a message from a man saying he was "locked and loaded, ready to put you where you belong."
Others have attacked her personal image in comments, and someone even created a community Facebook page in her name with the stated goal of "making sure the punishment fits the crime for anti police violence, and that thugs are held publicly accountable for their words and actions."
She told NBC News she has tried to talk to police about the threats, but she said she wasn't taken seriously.
"The police officer took it the wrong way too," she said.
McCurdy said her mother was worried about the threats, but for her part, she is trying to keep calm.
"I don't fear nobody but God," she said.