BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- A deadly shooting at a Bloomington restaurant left customers and those who work there with emotional scars, but the owners vow to reopen and welcome patrons back soon.
Mai Trinh, co-owner of Cô Tu' Oriental Cuisine, said she still can't believe what happened inside her family restaurant. Last Wednesday, police said a man fueled by jealousy targeted a customer, shooting and killing him. Authorities arrested Aaron Le and he
"It really shocked all of my family, our customers. They can't believe that happened to us," Trinh said. "Until now, we still suffer. I still can't sleep much."
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office on Tuesday afternoon identified the victim asand determined he died from multiple gunshot wounds. Trinh's nephew, a server, was injured, but is home from the hospital recovering.
The business has been closed for almost a week, but signs of tragedy still linger with bullet holes marking the walls.
Now she and her family work towards healing, but still need time to grieve. In the middle of the restaurant, there is a small table serves as an altar with flowers, candles and food. It will stay there for 49 days to honor and mourn the victim, which Trinh said is a Vietnamese Buddhist ritual. She added that they will not re-open until that time has passed, so likely in the new year.
The shooting marked Bloomington's first homicide of the year. Trinh said she is not afraid that what happened will occur again, but said she is sad the tragedy hit close to home. The victim was a well-known customer who frequented the restaurant.
Trinh said there are plans to renovate the interior to give the restaurant a fresh start when its doors open once again, so customers don't think about what happened there. She's grateful for the police response and community support.
"We would like to let the community [and] my customers know that we are OK now. Just give us a little more time to get back normal and we will open soon," she said. "We will be happy to see all their friendly faces come back."
Trinh and her family have a GoFundMe set up to raise money for medical bills and to cover expenses while the restaurant is closed.
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