GARDEN GROVE — A teen-ager killed Monday night in a Vietnamese cafe is the latest victim of shootings that have plagued cafes and coffeehouses in the Little Saigon area in the past 10 months, police said.
The unidentified teen-ager was killed about 8:30 p.m. at the Cafe Phuong Nga, in the 9800 block of Westminster Avenue, authorities said. A 19-year-old companion, Nhut Minh Trinh, was critically wounded.
"Here we go again with this senseless violence," said Garden Grove Police Capt. David Abrecht, who said he was appealing to members of the Asian community to help solve the latest shooting.
Garden Grove police asked that anyone with information about the fatal shooting at Cafe Phuong Nga contact the department's gang unit at (714) 741-5704.
"We're really trying to curtail this," Abrecht said.
"This is our first fatality" in a gang-related shooting this year in Garden Grove, he added. "We've had several near-misses."
Abrecht said the two victims were sitting at a table with a third companion, when two other people, apparently members of a rival gang, walked in and confronted them. One of the pair then opened fire, later fleeing in a waiting vehicle.
On April 4, a dispute at Cafe Truc Mai in Garden Grove involving three men with handguns left three people wounded. That incident climaxed a nine-day period in which shootings at three Little Saigon area cafes left two others dead and four more wounded.
On April 2, an off-duty security guard shot and killed one man and wounded another at Pho Tien Canh in Westminster, a cafe that police said had a history of disorderly conduct. Kinh Van Chu, 37, of Garden Grove died of injuries. The security guard was not charged.
Six days earlier, on March 27, two men walked into another crowded Vietnamese restaurant in Westminster, Cafe Mozart, and opened fire. Le Quan Nguyen, 20, of Garden Grove was killed and three others were wounded.
On Oct. 20, 1993, a shooting at the Gai Hoi Cafe in Fountain Valley, across the street from Westminster.