Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento police seek clarity in moments leading up to Golden Corral shootout

The Sacramento Police Department seeks two men who fled a Valentine’s Day shootout at the Golden Corral restaurant in south Sacramento.

The incident sent two people to a hospital and has not yet led to any arrests, said Officer Matthew McPhail, department spokesman.

McPhail said the Police Department has obtained video footage of the shooting, which happened in the banquet area of the chain restaurant after an argument between two men – one of whom was injured in the incident – and a third man escalated. Though police were able to see the shooting unfold, no audio of the incident was recorded, McPhail said.

Understanding the moments before the shooting was vital in determining who instigated the incident and determining whether anyone was acting in self-defense, he said.

“At this point, I don’t know if I would classify that person as a victim,” McPhail said of the man who was injured and involved in the argument. “There’s questions about whether that person started the fight.”

Police responded to calls of a shooting about 8:45 p.m. at the 7700 block of West Stockton Boulevard. When officers arrived, they found a man with gunshot wounds.

The injured man was part of one of the groups involved in the shooting, McPhail said. He was accompanied by another man, who is believed to be the first to fire his weapon at a third man after an argument.

“One of two people in (the first group) pulls out a firearm and starts shooting,” McPhail said. “The person in (the second group) pulls out a firearm and strikes back.”

McPhail said that an additional man, who police are calling a bystander in the shooting, also received injuries that were not life-threatening. He either drove or was driven to the hospital.

Golden Corral manager Robbie Wright said that while he was not working at the time of the incident, he was able to see video footage of the shooting. He described seeing a man come into the banquet area of the restaurant before firing his weapon.

“From what it looks like, he just walked in,” Wright said. “It looks like stupid, young kids.”

West Coast Corral Inc, the Golden Corral franchisee that operates the West Stockton Boulevard restaurant, issued a written statement Wednesday saying it “has reopened today following an unfortunate altercation between several customers Tuesday night. We are cooperating with authorities who are continuing their investigation of the incident. The safety and well-being of our guests and associates is our first priority.”

Nashelly Chavez: 916-321-1188, @nashellytweets

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