Images show desperation in a New York restaurant shootout

Images from a security camera show the moment when panicked customers flee the shooting at the Philippe Chow Chinese restaurant in Manhattan, New York (USA), last night. Police investigate the case as part of a series of robberies targeting luxury watches in the city. At least one person was shot.

In the video, released today by ABC7NY, two suspicious men get out of a car and walk toward the restaurant. They allegedly stole a Rolex watch from the wrist of a 31-year-old client.

Melchior Cooke, 28, who was having dinner outside the establishment, confronts the boys and the shooting breaks out; he ends up hit in the leg. A group of customers and people passing by the place start running desperately.

“I saw him on the floor and there was a lot of blood. He looked like he was about to pass out,” Wayne Lawrence, 50, manager of another local restaurant told the New York Post report. “I took a towel and wrapped it around his legs, tying it tight. It was a lot of blood, it even ruined my $500 jacket.”

Another client, Craig Fournier, who followed the fight closely, said Cooke managed to get the gun off one of the suspects. “The glasses were breaking, we saw the victim staggering down the sidewalk and passing out.”

Cooke, father of a 4-year-old boy, is recovering in a hospital and is not at risk of dying. “He’s in a lot of pain but stable,” his mother, Lisa Cooke, told the NY Post.

This is one of at least five robberies in which criminals have stolen luxury watches in recent months, the publication points out. Police are investigating whether there is a pattern between the cases and believe that a third man, with an undisclosed identity, was involved in the crimes. So far, no one has been arrested.

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