China Garden reopens after San Antonio movie theater shooting

Customers show up for food, support

Author: Charles Gonzalez, Reporter, Anchor, cgonzalez@ksat.com
Published On: Dec 18 2012 10:49:10 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 19 2012 03:09:44 AM CST
18chinagarden
SAN ANTONIO -

China Garden by the Mayan Palace 14 movie theaters re-opened for a few hours Tuesday evening, two days after it was the scene of a shooting that left one man wounded along with the suspect.

"The employees felt that it was a must that we opened as soon as possible," said restaurant owner Adrian Martinez. "The community outreach over the last couple of days has been amazing. I personally received over a thousand e-mails, messages to our corporate website asking us how we're doing and what can they do to help."

Late Sunday evening, 19-year-old Jesus Garcia - who had worked at the restaurant as a cook before walking out on the job earlier in the day - reportedly fired several shots inside the restaurant before walking to the Mayan Palace 14 movie theaters and firing more shots and wounding 49-year-old Mario Acevedo.

Garcia was also shot four times and arrested by an off-duty sheriff's deputy that was working security at the theaters. It had originally been reported that Garcia was upset after a female co-worker ended a relationship but Martinez said that was incorrect.

"I knew there was an individual that he had an interest in but other than that it wasn't this two, three year relationship or what I heard on the news, a love triangle so to speak," said Martinez. "It wasn't anything like that."

The restaurant opened just before 5:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon and planned to stay open until 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. Around 7:00 p.m., there was a constant line of customers outside waiting to get in.

"I know some people might want to forget, but I'm glad to see everybody's united and having a good time," said customer Chris Garcia.

"We can't be afraid to come out and not be able to enjoy your life and be afraid of everything," added Mona Sanchez.

"You never know the way the public's going to side with things and it's definitely been one of thankful forgiving and understanding and supporting our business," said Martinez.

Jesus Garcia remains in the Bexar county jail under $1 million bond for charges of attempted capital murder for shooting at a police officer in a patrol car and for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Martinez said the female employee was not at work on Tuesday, but has been told she is welcome to remain on staff. 

For a list of recent stories Charles Gonzalez has done, click here.