BC restaurant murder: Closing arguments for accused shooter underway

BC restaurant murder: Closing arguments for accused shooter underway
BC restaurant murder: Closing arguments for accused shooter underway

Closing arguments are underway in the trial of a man accused of killing an alleged money launderer and wounding his associate at a Richmond, BC, restaurant in September 2020.

Richard Reed has pleaded not-guilty to first-degree-murder and attempted murder in BC Supreme Court.

He is being tried by judge only.

Crown prosecutors allege Reed fired seven shots into Manzo restaurant, with one of the bullets striking and killing Jian Jun Zhu and multiple others wounding his associate Paul Jin.

Jin was the subject of a civil forfeiture lawsuit filed in March 2019, which accused him of using the proceeds of crime to buy a Richmond building that houses a mixed martial arts gym called World Champion Club.

Zhu was accused in civil forfeiture documents of laundering hundreds of million of dollars through a Richmond company in a scheme involving BC casinos.

During Crown’s closing arguments Monday, prosecutor Mark Wolf invited the court to find Reed not guilty on the attempted murder charge – due to a ruling from Justice Jeanne Watchuk that part of the testimony provided by a friend of Reed’s was inadmissible.

“The Crown cannot provide an essential element of that count, namely Mr. Reed’s specific intention to kill Paul Jin,” Wolf said.

However, Wolf told Watchuk the Crown had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Reed was the gunman.

Wolf highlighted that Reed had previously admitted to being captured on camera in the area just before the shooting.

“Mr. Reed spends roughly 20 minutes surveying the Manzo scene, he walked through the parking lot waiting for the sun to set so he could commit the offense under the cover of darkness,” said Wolf.

Crown relied on video evidence captured by several cameras in the area, as well as from the restaurant.

Watchuk was again shown footage from inside the restaurant showing the moment the gunfire burst through a window, before Zhu collapses in his seat as bystanders duck for cover.

Wolf said other videos shown during the trial of the alleged gunman fleeing the scene matched Reed’s description.

He also pointed out that a gun believed to be the murder weapon was found under the bed in a bedroom Reed was renting at the time.

The defense is expected to make its closing argument Tuesday.

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