DeKalb County

2 injured when restaurant worker shoots customer who ran out on bill, police say

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Police arrested a DeKalb County restaurant employee for shooting a customer who didn't pay for his food.

The incident happened Wednesday night at China Cafeteria on Rainbow Drive.

A restaurant employee told Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes that he saw the customer fighting with his relatives in the parking lot, and he said his relative had no choice but to shoot the man.

Jecory Jackson, a customer, said he couldn’t believe what police said unfolded at the restaurant.

“I come here because it’s affordable. I like the food. I can’t see somebody getting shot over a $5 meal. I just can’t see it,” Jackson said.

Another employee told Fernandes it all started when the customer gave them a credit card that didn’t work and walked out of the restaurant.


Police say two employees went outside and confronted the customer and they all started fighting.

Investigators said that was when restaurant employee Xin Xing Chen went back into the restaurant, grabbed a gun and shot the customer.

Police have charged Chen with aggravated assault. Investigators said Chen also shot a co-worker by mistake as well.

Jackson told Fernandes he probably won’t come back to China Cafeteria for a while after hearing about the shooting.

“I can find something similar at a much safer place. I got kids. They need me to come home and not (get killed) because someone is shooting over a $5 meal,” Jackson said.

The customer is in critical condition, and the employee who was shot accidentally is in stable condition.

The employee Fernandes spoke with on Thursday said the only reason why the restaurant was closed is because two of the main workers were injured during the scuffle.