1 man dead, 7 people injured during Spring Lake Park shooting

Updated: December 24, 2019 12:05 PM

A 19-year-old St. Paul man is dead and seven people are wounded after a shooting at the Dala Thai Restaurant and Banquet Hall in Spring Lake Park.

According to a statement from Commander Wayne Heath of the Anoka County Sheriff's Department, Spring Lake Park police officers responded to reports of a shooting in the parking lot at the banquet facility at 8407 Plaza Blvd. in Spring Lake Park shortly after midnight Sunday.


Several shots were reported to have been fired, with multiple victims injured. Other law enforcement agencies, along with the Spring Lake Park/Blaine/Mounds View Fire Department and Allina Ambulance responded to the scene.

When police and emergency crews got to the scene, they found and treated several people with gunshot wounds. One victim, a 19-year-old man from St. Paul was dead at the scene. Three victims were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, two others were transported to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale and one victim was found at St. John's Hospital in Maplewood. 

The Anoka County Sheriff's Office identified the 19-year-old who was killed as Chai Yang. 

The sheriff's office identified those injured as Ger Yang, Keng Moua, Chimua Lor, Lee Vang Lor, Jann Her, John Thoa and Kou Yang. The injuries the seven suffered are not considered life-threatening, according to the sheriff's office. 

The banquet hall was hosting an 18-and-over music event the night of the shooting and about 50 people were in attendance, sources told KSTP.

The sheriff's office said it does not believe this was a random shooting.

"Any time we deal with anything like this, even a shooting of any type, it is unsettling," Heath said. "This is just quantified by the number of victims we have here."

While police had been investigating the crime scene all morning, the heavy police presence was jarring for people going about their days.

Linda Laun, who works near the scene of the shooting, said she was startled when she drove up Sunday morning.

"I tried getting in to work, and it was all blocked off and it freaked me out," she said.

She extended her condolences to the family of the teen who died.

"I'm going, 'God what a horrible situation for Christmas,' you know?" she said. "And the poor mother. That's got to be hard that her son died."

The Rev. Prince Williams, a pastor who came to the neighborhood for a Bible study, said the gun activity was unusual for the area.

"This is a quiet neighborhood. Very quiet," he said. "So this is new for us."

He also called for prayers for the community and for the victims.

"It's just a pray for the community, pray for them, pray for the family," he said. "It's kind of heartbreaking."

Police say no suspects are in custody, and there is no danger to the public at this time. The shooting is being investigated by the Spring

Lake Park Police Department, the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office and the Anoka County Sheriff's Office.

A GoFundMe account has been made for Chai Yang to help his family cover the funeral cost. 

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Tracy Maher & Beth McDonough

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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