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Murder trial shows Richmond diners scramble as bullets blast through window

Richard Charles Reed stands accused of shooting up a Richmond sushi restaurant, killing Jian Jun Zhu and injuring Paul King Jin.
Manzo sushi restaurant was behind police tape Sept. 18, 2020. Police now allege Richard Charles Reed shot alleged professional money launderer Jian Jun Zhu to death that night.

CCTV footage shown to a judge at a high-profile murder trial in B.C. Supreme Court this week shows diners at a Richmond sushi restaurant scrambling for cover as a person blasts several rounds of bullets through a large window, ultimately killing alleged professional money launderer Jian Jun Zhu and injuring his associate Paul King Jin.

That person, Crown prosecutors allege, was Richard Charles Reed, who is contesting the charges of first-degree murder of Zhu, attempted murder of Jin and possession of a firearm — all of which have not been proven in court.

On Friday, the fourth day of a six-week trial, prosecutors showed Justice Jeanne Watchuk footage from multiple restaurant cameras taken around 7 p.m. on Sep. 18, 2020, the day of the murder by way of, what police described as, a “brazen shooting.”

In the courtroom was Reed, sitting in the glass partitioned box for the accused, and directly behind Reed, in the public gallery, was Jin to observe the proceedings.

Inside Manzo sushi restaurant, at Garden City Road and Capstan Way, footage shows Jin and Zhu often seated together with a woman and two men but also mingling between three tables with about four other middle-aged East Asian men and at least two large South Asian men, whom they drank shots with.

At close to 7:32 p.m., just after the sun had set, footage showed Zhu seated with the woman until the window next to him exploded and people ducked for cover. Zhu’s body then laid lifeless on a cushioned bench.

Standing nearby was Jin, who was then seen covering the side of his face with a white cloth. The woman could be seen crawling out from under the table.

Footage showed several patrons, including at least one child, ducking for cover or exiting the building.

For about five minutes the Jin party crouched low but also appeared to be collecting cellphones left on the tables.

Jin left the restaurant at 7:36 p.m. in a white Tesla Model X, as he was escorted out by one of two South Asian men, who had tattoo sleeves and wore identical black bandanas.

At 7:43 p.m. a restaurant employee goes nearby Zhu’s body, looks around and leaves.

By 7:49 p.m. Zhu’s body was still alone until two RCMP officers arrived at 7:50 p.m. with guns drawn. One officer appears to check Zhu’s pulse and leaves the body.

About 20 minutes prior to the shooting prosecutors showed a Black man in a striped black and white hoodie walking around the restaurant premise and ultimately going inside four minutes before the shooting.

Prosecutors said the man in the hoodie was Reed and the defence counsel does not dispute this.

The videos did not provide an angle to where the shots were fired, from  the outside.

Earlier in the week, prosecutors alleged Reed intended to shoot Jin, not Zhu, the Vancouver Sun reported.

Reed, born in 1998, was charged Nov. 17, 2021 after a 14-month investigation by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) with the help of Richmond RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Section, and various specialized units at E Division.

Sgt. David Lee of IHIT called the shooting “brazen.”

On Sep. 2 , 2022, the Crown proceeded with a direct indictment against Reed, meaning no preliminary hearing where a judge would have determined whether there was sufficient evidence to go to trial.

According to court filings, Reed, who also goes by ‘Ricky,’ has several prior criminal convictions from between 2017 and 2023, including robbery, breach of a release order and breach of probation after being charged with uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.

Most recently, in April 2023, Reed was jailed for 12.5 months for sexual interference against a minor plus two months in jail for obstructing police.

In another separate proceeding Reed is facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder and attempting to obstruct justice.

Zhu was previously investigated through a high-profile "E-Pirate" probe into alleged money laundering through his illegal money service business Silver International, in Richmond. The business allegedly catered to local, Mexican and Chinese organized crime rings.

According to civil forfeiture filings, Jin allegedly used Silver International, which was alleged to have laundered upwards of $220 million annually.

Jin was also a key investigation subject of “E-Nationalize,” another RCMP investigation that produced no criminal charges.

The E-nationalize case was dropped by Crown because police did not present predicate criminal offences of the alleged laundered money and disclosure of a vast amount of materials; often in Mandarin, the materials posed challenges to the prosecution, according to special prosecutor Christopher Considine KC, who had been hired by then Attorney General David Eby to reassess the case.

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