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Two men injured in shooting at China Garden

The King George Sheriff’s office is seeking two men in connection with shootings that occurred late Saturday when a private party at the China Garden Restaurant in Dahlgren turned into a melee than spilled out into the parking lot. Shots were fired outside and two men were injured.

“I thought it was fireworks at first,” said Jay Thomas, a Dahlgren man who lives near the restaurant. “Then I heard a repetitive bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.”
King George Sheriff Steve Dempsey said the restaurant at 17010 Dahlgren Road had been rented for a private party. “An altercation started inside the restaurant and then moved outside,” Dempsey said. “We were called at 11:53 p.m.”

Sources said there were as many as 100 people involved in the party and many of them were outside at the time of the shootings. Sai Chan, who has owned the restaurant for 21 years, said it is the first time shots had been fired near his restaurant.

“You come here wanting to have fun,” Chan said, “but you don’t need that kind of thing to happen.” Sheriff’s officers were continuing the investigation this week, but so far no suspects have been identified.

Dempsey said the two victims had non-life threatening injuries, but one was more seriously wounded and was taken to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg by helicopter. The other man was driven to Mary Washington Hospital and was treated and released. Sources said both victims, ages 18 and 24, were from King George County.

Sources also said witnesses to the incident have so far been “less than cooperative” with sheriff’s officers. Investigators were still trying to determine what touched off the fight within the restaurant and who was involved in the shooting.

Sheriff Dempsey said anyone with information about the shootings is asked to call the King George Sheriff’s Office at (540) 775-2049. The sheriff said additional details about the incident would be released as appropriate when they are available.

Richard Leggitt

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