|Steven Tran, owner of the the Basil Ultimate Pho and Fine Vietnamese Cuisine, watches as Calgary Police investigators were back at the scene after gunfire erupted early Sunday, leaving one dead and three others injured. Monday July 2 2012 (DARREN MAKOWICHUK/QMI AGENCY)
CALGARY -- Slaughtered senselessly Sunday morning, Mike Du was just an innocent bystander, friends say, collateral damage in a targeted shooting.
The 37-year-old Canada Post employee was gunned down about 2 a.m. at a birthday party for a friend held at Basil Ultimate Pho and Fine Vietnamese Cuisine.
"Two people came in -- they had hoodies," Basil co-owner Steven Tran said Monday.
"I could see them holding something in their hands. They opened fire.
"It happened so quick -- they were in an out in less than a minute."
Du, one of 30 to 40 people at the birthday party, was one of four people hit in the hail of bullets.
He died in the restaurant.
Two other men Tran said he didn't know as well, sitting at the same table as Du, were found shot when police arrived at the restaurant soon after and rushed to hospital in critical condition.
"The person who was targeted was the friend of a birthday person," Tran said. "Mike was an innocent bystander."
Police have not said the shooting is gang-related but they haven't ruled it out and do not have a suspect identified.
The gang unit is assisting in the investigation.
While Du is not well known in organized crime circles to police, detectives are trying to determine what if any associations he had to those who are on their radar.
A source confirmed some individuals believed to be in the restaurant at the time of the shooting are well known to police.
Several are believed to have fled by the time officers arrived.
While high-profile violent attacks between two notorious Calgary street gangs -- known as FOB and FK -- which culminated in deadly shootings several years ago but had halted recent years, one source said police know they are still active and just as violent.
"We have always maintained they are still at work, the two groups still exist and the rivalry absolutely exists," the source said.
But Tran said Du had no connection to crime and has always been a great guy.
Others have been in touch with QMI Agency upon learning of the shootings to say their friend was not involved in any gang and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The status of the injured men remained critical Monday night.
A fourth victim, a woman, showed up at hospital soon after the shootings, suffering a minor gunshot wound.
All victims were in their 30s and 40s.
Tran said police haven't told him anything.
"I'm terrified -- I would never have believed this happening in my store," he said.
But Tran is adamant his place will continue to be a safe environment for customers.
-- With files from Darren Makowichuk
On Twitter: @SUNDamienWood