The windows at a Vietnamese restaurant in a Calgary strip mall where four people were shot, one killed, were covered by black tarps and the parking lot cordoned off with police tape as investigators looked on the ground and rooftops for clues connected to the targeted Canada Day attack.
Around 2 a.m. Sunday, city police were called to Basil Ultimate Pho & Fine Vietnamese Cuisine, a popular eatery in the city's northeast, where they found one man dead and two men injured. The victims were taken to hospital in unknown condition. A short time later, a woman showed up the same hospital suffering from a "minor" gunshot wound, according to police. All the victims are in their 30s and 40s, police said, adding officers have no suspects, a few witnesses and limited information about what lead to the altercation. The victims haven't been interviewed due to their conditions.
"We do not believe this was a random shooting," said Duty Inspector Craig Skelton.
He did not say whether gangs may be involved, but it did evoke memories of the deadly New Year's Eve massacre in 2009, which left three people dead at Bolsa Restaurant as part of the feud between rival gangs known as FOB Killers and Fresh Off the Boat. One of the deceased was an innocent bystander.
Insp. Skelton said investigators are probing the relationships, if any, among the victims and will "draw upon" lessons they learned from the Bosla shooting.
"There has to be concern in Calgary when acts of violence like this occur," he added.
"We should all be concerned. This is our community, [and]we want to have a safe community and we work very hard to have a safe community, so this does affect us all."
A police forensic vehicle remained parked at the scene well into the day, while search and rescue workers conducted shoulder-to-shoulder grid searches on the ground looking for evidence. Police said no weapon has been recovered.
"This is not a typical incident," Insp. Skelton said, "We don't have many incidents similar to this."
Workers, owners and patrons of the plaza were shocked by the violence. Some stores were allowed to open, while others remained closed behind police tape.
Raj Persad, owner of M.P. Liquor Store, next door to the crime scene, said the owners are "very, very nice people," who operate a bustling eatery. He said he closed his shop at midnight and didn't notice anything amiss when he left. But he did see the restaurant was open well beyond its posted 9 p.m. closing time with what appeared to be a private party.
"I never had any trouble there," he said, "It's surprising to see something like that."
Opened in the summer of 2009, the restaurant is owned by the Tran family, who are known locally as the former proprietors of the popular Phở Dau Bo restaurant on Calgary's International Avenue.
The owners could not be reached for comment.
Employees at Smashburger, another eatery in the plaza, lingered waiting for word about whether they would open. They said the restaurant is busy, but quiet and has good food.
Dustin Faver wasn't surprised by the shooting in a big and growing city.
"It's Calgary, stuff like this happens everyday," he said.