Golden Dragon massacre
|Golden Dragon massacre|
|Location||816 Washington Street, San Francisco, California, United States|
|Date||Sunday, September 4, 1977
2:40 AM (PST)
|Mass murder, massacre|
|Perpetrators||Members of the Joe Boys (Peter Ng, Curtis Tam, Chester Yu, Melvin Yu, Tom Yu)|
The Golden Dragon massacre (traditional Chinese: 金龍大屠殺; simplified Chinese: 金龍大屠杀; Mandarin Pinyin: Jīnlóngdàtúshā; Jyutping: Gam1lung4daai6tou4saat3) was a gang-related attack that took place in San Francisco, California, on September 4, 1977, inside the Golden Dragon Restaurant located at 816 Washington Street in Chinatown. The attack left 5 people dead and 11 others injured, none of whom were gang members. The five perpetrators, members of the Joe Boys, a Chinese youth gang, attempted to kill members of the Wah Ching, a rival Chinatown gang. The perpetrators were convicted and sentenced in connection with the murders.
Forty minutes prior to the shooting, Tom Yu was informed by a gang member through a phone call that members of the Wah Ching and Hop Sing were present at the Golden Dragon restaurant. The perpetrators, members of the Joe Boys (Chung Ching Yee), took firearms and ammunition from a closet in a friend's home in Pacifica, where they had been staying at during the weekend. 17-year-old Chester Yu drove Curtis Tam, Melvin Yu, Peter Ng, and Tom Yu to the Golden Dragon restaurant in a car stolen earlier that evening by Peter Cheung. At 2:40 AM, the car was parked near the restaurant, and Tam, Yu, and Ng ran to the restaurant looking for members of the Wah Ching. Armed with a .45-caliber Commando Mark III rifle, two 12 gauge pump-action shotguns, and a .38-caliber revolver, Curtis Tam, Melvin Yu, and Peter Ng donned on nylon stocking masks and then opened fire at patrons inside the restaurant without warning. According to Chester Yu, Ng instructed to Tam that he should have fired a shot in the ceiling so "when the people panic and get down on the floor, we will decide who to shoot." Yu then drove the shooters back to the house in Pacifica.
The attack lead to the deaths of five people, including two tourists, and injury to 11 people, none of whom were gang members. The weapons used in the attack were later recovered in the San Francisco Bay by police in April 1978.
Arrests and convictions
The first arrest in connection with the attack was made in March 1978, when police arrested 18-year-old Curtis Tam. Tam was booked on five counts of murder, 11 counts of attempted murder, and 11 counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Tam moved to San Francisco from Hong Kong in 1976. Chester Yu was charged with accessory to murder.
Five men from the Joe Boys were arrested and convicted for the crime, with three of them still serving prison sentences as of 2013. The perpetrators involved with the murders are Curtis Tam, Melvin Yu, Peter Ng, Chester Yu, and Tom Yu. Tom Yu was sentenced to life imprisonment in state prison.
The attack was motivated by a longstanding feud between two rival Chinatown gangs, the Joe Boys and Wah Ching. The assassination attempt was retaliation for the death of Joe Boys member Felix Huey, who was killed in a shootout with Wah Ching members at the Ping Yuen housing projects in July of that year.
The Golden Dragon continued operation after the massacre, but was closed in January 2006 after a failed health inspection and replaced by the Imperial Palace Restaurant. The company owed a year's worth of paychecks to its employees.
An ex-Joe Boys member, Bill Lee, wrote about the incident and his life as Joe Boys gangster in his book, Chinese Playground: A Memoir.
- List of massacres in the United States
- Wah Mee massacre, a similar mass shooting in Seattle
- 101 California Street shooting, another mass murder that took place less than a mile away from the Golden Dragon
- Golden Dragon Massacre
- "People v. Yu (1983) 143 Cal.App.3d 358 , 191 Cal.Rptr. 859". Court of Appeals of California. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
- Stolberg, Sheryl (September 14, 1995). "COLUMN ONE : School's Out for Convicts : Taxpayers have stopped paying for inmates' college degrees in a backlash against prison reform. Corrections officials decry the loss of a powerful rehabilitation tool.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- "Golden Dragon massacre". San Bernardino County Sun. August 27, 1978. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- Mullen, Kevin J. "The Golden Dragon Restaurant Massacre".
- "People v. Szeto , 29 Cal.3d 20". Supreme Court of California. February 11, 1981.
- Make First Arrest in Golden Dragon Massacre of 1977, UPI, March 24, 1978
- "3 Accused in California In Killing of 5 in Chinatown". New York Times. April 22, 1978. Retrieved February , 2014.
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