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Charges: Aaron Le fatally shot man, wounded server at Bloomington restaurant due to jealousy over ex-wife

Aaron Le charged in deadly Bloomington restaurant shooting
Aaron Le charged in deadly Bloomington restaurant shooting 01:42

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- A man accused of shooting two people inside a Bloomington restaurant last week targeted one of the victims he believed was romantically linked to his ex-wife, according to a criminal complaint and the Bloomington police chief.  

Aaron Le, 47, is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder, Hennepin County court documents show. 

Aaron Le Kay County Sheriff's Office

The shooting occurred last Wednesday at the Cô Tu' Oriental Cuisine restaurant near the 8900 block of Penn Avenue. A 49-year-old man who was a regular at the restaurant was killed, the criminal complaint says. A 25-year-old server was also shot twice. The restaurant's owner told WCCO Monday the server is her nephew and he is out of the hospital.

Le was arrested in Oklahoma on Thanksgiving Day.

According to a criminal complaint, witnesses told officers responding to the shooting that the suspect was a middle-aged man in a Halloween mask and maroon hoodie. The shooter allegedly had two guns on him, and left one at the scene.

Investigators said surveillance showed the shooter enter the restaurant and approach the 49-year-old's table, where he was sitting with another man. After the shooter pulled out a gun, several patrons chased him out of the restaurant, but he returned and brandished the gun again. Bystanders tried to wrestle the gun away from him, but he shot the 49-year-old multiple times, the documents detailed.  

Surveillance image of masked suspect in Cô Tu' Oriental Cuisine shooting Bloomington Police

The shooting was motivated by jealousy over Le's former wife, said Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges during a news conference on Monday. Hodges said his ex-wife disputes that claim and told law enforcement she was not in a relationship with the victim.

Hodges said police are looking to enhance the charges from second- to first-degree murder.

"Obviously this was a premeditated incident here for him to go and kill a man in cold blood," Hodges said. "You don't get to shoot people here and think you're gonna enjoy the benefits of a free society."

Hodges praised a witness who offered key information in the case. Without the tip, Le might not have been identified or caught, he said.

He noted the lengths to which Le went to allegedly conceal the crime: wearing the mask, hoodie, and firing guns through plastic bags, which could mask fingerprints and capture bullet casings. Hodges points to this as evidence of the planning that took place before last Wednesday's shooting.

"He took every single precaution you could think of to not get caught for this coldblooded murder," he said.

Authorities tracked Le's cellphone to Oklahoma, where he was pulled over and arrested in Kay County. He had two body armor vests in his van and blood on his clothing, the complaint states.

Le remains in custody in Oklahoma.

Local Domestic Violence Resources

Women's Advocates

Crisis Line: (651) 227-8284

St. Paul & Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project

Crisis Line: (651) 645-2824

Minnesota Day One

Crisis Line: 1-866-223-1111

Esperanza United

Bilingual crisis line: (651) 772-1611.

For anonymous, confidential help, people can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224.

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