Crime

Man shot outside Chinatown restaurant

A man was shot to death during a lunchtime fight Monday that spilled from a Chinatown restaurant onto the sidewalk, Fresno police said.

The man, in his 30s, was taken to University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead about 1:10p.m., Lt. Anthony Martinez said.

The shooting was reported at 12:34 p.m. at El Rancho restaurant,Tulare and F streets.

Witnesses told police two suspects, both men believed to be in their 30s, sped away from the shooting, west on Tulare, in a white, late-1990s model Chevrolet Suburban.

They left the victim lying on his back on the sidewalk next to a parking meter — a crime that left witnesses shaken.

"The people that we've talked to today are pretty shocked that this took place," Martinez said.

John Brown, 54, said he was outside El Rancho when the shooting happened.

The three men got into a "tussle" inside El Rancho and were told to leave by restaurant staff, Brown said.

On the sidewalk, one of the men grabbed the victim's neck and shot him numerous times in the head from close range, Brown said.

Martinez would not confirm where the man was shot.

Angela Rodgers, who was working in her parents' soul food restaurant nearby, said she heard four gunshots. She was standing behind the counter, talking to a regular customer.

After hearing the "pops," Rodgers said, she and the customer looked at each other.

Rodgers, 38, said she looked out the window and saw two business owners come outside their stores across the street.

One man, who runs a shoe-shine shop, darted indecisively back and forth until he apparently noticed a police motorcycle parked outside a Chinese restaurant a couple of doors down, Rodgers said.

He went into the restaurant and retrieved the officers, Rodgers said.

"So the police come running out," she said.

Not knowing what was happening, Rodgers told her father to lock the door, she said. But because the police were there, she felt safe enough to go outside to see what happened.

She went to the intersection of Tulare and F streets, saw the man on the ground across the street and then returned to her family's restaurant, Mama Lo's Soul Food.

"I went inside and said, 'The guy got shot out there,'" Rodgers said.

But they unlocked the front door and tried to go about business. Some people were not in the mood to stick around, though: The regular customer Rodgers had been visiting with asked for her order to go, she said.

"We stayed open the whole time," she said. "We just locked the doors for two or three minutes."

Emergency medical personnel arrived and tried to revive the man, pumping on his chest. They then loaded him in an ambulance and took him to UMC.

Left behind on the sidewalk were several bloodstains and what appeared to be the man's shirt.

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