Surveillance video captures gunshots that killed St. Louis restaurant owner

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 6:41 AM CDT|Updated: May. 31, 2023 at 4:10 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A man was killed and another man was wounded in a shooting that happened at a Chinese restaurant in west St. Louis Tuesday night.

Police said the shooting happened around 9:45 p.m. at Saint Louis Kitchen, near the intersection of Kingshighway and Kensington. In surveillance video shared with News 4 by a nearby business, several gunshots ring out, and police arrive minutes later.

Family members told News 4 it was a robbery gone wrong outside of the restaurant. A man, identified by family as Fa Ming Pan, who went by Randy, died in the shooting. They say Randy is the son of Chinese immigrants, and that he owned the restaurant and worked there with his parents.

“His wife had to go home and tell her kids that their daddy died, on a robbery trying to provide for them. I can’t get that out of my head,” former employee John Walker told News 4.

Current Assistant Manager Charmella Tate says Pan was a kind sole who was as kind as he was selfless. Workers met up at the restaurant Tuesday to reminisce and create a memorial of flowers and stuffed animals at the restaurant’s front door.

“If somebody wanted something to eat, he fed them” Tate said. “They picked trash up. He would feed them... It was late night. He was getting off [work]. Him and his brother, and from my understanding, they shot him and robbed him. And he would have gave it up. They didn’t need to shoot him.”

A 56-year-old man was taken to a hospital in critical but stable condition following the shooting. He has not been identified by police. Workers at the restaurant tell News 4 he worked there as a cook.

According to police, language barrier has made it difficult to determine what led up to the shooting. News 4 saw police vehicles and detectives canvassing the area Wednesday evening. Workers at the restaurant and the nearby businesses have both given their footage to police.

Police records show there have been several calls to the business, including a burglary call in March.

St. Louis Asian-American Chamber of Commerce President Omar Malik says that the family was just trying to live the American Dream. He did not know Randy, but he says, regardless of the cause, the shooting is still a troubling sign of violence against Asian Americans.

“We are a vulnerable community, coming to America,” Malik said. “This can happen to anybody, any place, any time. At the end of the day, we are all a part of one human community.”

The restaurant’s workers are currently trying to collect donations for the family. For now, the restaurant remains closed. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-8477 and leave an anonymous tip.