Homicide detectives are investigating the killing of a patron at Cafe Monaco in the Little Saigon section of Sacramento County, apparently during a Chinese New Year celebration.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department dispatchers received a call reporting a shooting inside the cafe at about 4:40 a.m. Friday at Cafe Monaco, 6519 Savings Place. The business is on a short street lined with commercial properties near Stockton Boulevard and the 65th Street Expressway.
The shooting victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The business was crowded with customers before deputies arrived, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman.
However, patrons left after shots were fired, said Bowman. The employee who made the 911 call about the shooting said he was in a back room during the gunfire.
He went into the front room, where he witnessed chaos in the wake of the shooting. The cafe’s parking lot was littered with the residue of celebratory firecrackers.
A wide section of the small center of shops, restaurants and offices was still blocked off by yellow crime tape Friday afternoon as sheriff’s detectives combed the scene.
Merchants had little to say Friday about the shooting as they went about their normal business.
Shopkeeper Phoua Hang described Cafe Monaco as a busy but friendly coffeehouse and said she was surprised by the shooting hours before its 8 a.m. opening.
“People always come around, sit, drink and talk. When I come to work, they’re there. When I leave, they’re there,” Hang said. “It seems like they’re just having fun, so this is shocking.”
The name of the shooting victim, who was estimated to be between 25 and 35 years old, has not been released.
Detectives ask anyone with information regarding the incident to call the Sheriff’s Department at (916) 874-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357. Tip information also may be left anonymously at www.sacsheriff.com, by texting 274637 and entering the keyword “SSD” or by calling (916) 874-8477.
Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.