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Gunman in Halloween mask kills customer, injures server at Bloomington restaurant

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Gunman in Halloween mask kills customer, injures server at Bloomington restaurant
Gunman in Halloween mask kills customer, injures server at Bloomington restaurant 01:51

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- On the day before Thanksgiving, Bloomington police are investigating a fatal shooting inside a Vietnamese restaurant.

It happened at the Cô Tu' Oriental Cuisine restaurant near the 8900 block of Penn Avenue.

Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges didn't mince words about the tragedy.

"The person that did this today is nothing but a cold-blooded killer," Hodges said.

A man who was inside the restaurant said the gunman, who was wearing an old man Halloween mask and a maroon hoodie, first came in and flashed a gun. A group of customers wrestled the man outside twice before he came back in a third time, when he fired a warning shot before shooting and killing a 49-year-old man who was a regular at the restaurant.

A 25-year-old server was also shot twice. He is expected to survive.  

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"I hope that they decide to turn themselves in, but if they don't, we're gonna find them and we're gonna lock 'em up, period," Hodges said. "You don't get to do that in this city and think you're gonna get away with it."

This shopping center has seen gun violence before. In September of 2020, the owner of Penn Lake Roast Beef was shot during an attempted robbery -- something that was on the minds of other business owners when police descended again Wednesday. Bruce Paro runs Bruce's Penn Lake Barbers.

"When am I gonna have to put a gun on? And I don't like guns," Paro said. " It's hard to talk about, but it seems like the day is coming around the corner when we're gonna have to do that."

Some of his neighbors have left the shopping center, but Paro's barbershop isn't going anywhere.

"We're small business owners and we do this for the customers," he said.

There is no word yet on a possible motive. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 952-563-4900.  

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