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Shooter Kills 2 in Crowded Garden Grove Restaurant

At 1 a.m., a gunman enters the eatery, walks up to two at men at a table and fires.

August 17, 2004|Mai Tran | Times Staff Writer

Two men sitting in a Garden Grove restaurant were shot and killed early Monday when a gunman walked into the crowded business and fired several times at close range without saying a word, officials said.

Police arrived at the restaurant shortly after the 1 a.m. shooting and found the men on the floor of Hawaii Cafeteria, which is in a strip mall near Brookhurst Street and Chapman Avenue.

Officers said about 75 customers fled the eatery after the gunfire broke out. None were injured.

"It was a very violent and unusual crime for two people to be killed without any exchange of words in a restaurant," said Garden Grove police Lt. Mike Handfield.

The men were identified by authorities as Tri Thanh Phan, 38, of Fountain Valley, and Kurt Martinsen, 29, of Lake Forest. They were good friends, had no gang affiliations and were regular customers at the restaurant, police said.

A motive for the shooting has not been determined, authorities said.

The gunman, wearing a baseball cap, entered the front door and "went directly to the men sitting at the table and opened fire at close range with a handgun," said Garden Grove police Investigator Carl Whitney.

The man then ran out the front door and fled in a dark sedan with two other people inside. The car was last seen traveling south on Brookhurst Street, officers said.

Later Monday, the restaurant's blinds were drawn, a front window was smashed and several tables were littered with menus. The owner of the business could not be reached for comment.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Whitney at (714) 741-5877.

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