The restaurant waiter who was shot 11 times during an attempted burglary in Las Vegas in December 2021 has appeared publicly for the first time since the nearly fatal incident.
Chengyan Wang said he was “incredibly grateful” to be alive and for the support of the Las Vegas community after he was shot allegedly by Rashawn Gaston-Anderson, 23, while working at Shanghai Taste on Dec. 20. “Las Vegas is a beautiful town,” Wang told KTNV Las Vegas. “The town has a lot of humane folks who really showed up during the pandemic, and I’m really appreciative.”Wang, the head waiter who began working for the restaurant six months ago, said he moved to Las Vegas from China to help his family and his friend run the restaurant.
Recalling the incident, Wang said he did not know Gaston-Anderson was a robber when he entered the restaurant at 3 a.m. until he pulled out his gun and started shooting. Wang was reportedly working late when the incident occurred.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
“When he first entered the restaurant, I wasn’t aware that he was inside for a robbery,” Wang said. “I confronted him, and then he shouted and then pulled a gun and started shooting.”
Shanghai Taste managing partner Joe Muscaglione said Wang “defiantly” tried to fight the suspect in what they believed to be an attempted burglary. The head waiter reportedly suffered four shots to the abdomen, one to the shoulder, another through the neck and one on a hand, among other areas on his body.
Wang has been working hard towards recovery at a rehabilitation hospital after undergoing multiple surgeries and physical therapy. He said his right arm has become mobile again, while some of his fingers still suffer from limited movement.
Although the incident happened months ago, Wang explained he had not told his elderly parents about the shooting yet, worrying this would add more stress for them.
“I didn’t want to tell my parents because of their age. They’re elderly, with their health conditions and also the pandemic,” he said.
Gaston-Anderson was arrested near East Desert Inn Road and South Maryland Parkway on the afternoon of Dec. 27. A judge ordered the suspect to be detained without bail as the Las Vegas Chinatown incident was his third felony.
Wang is hoping to return to work soon and believes he will be back “better than ever.” However, his doctors said it is unclear when he could be released from the hospital.
“I would love to put in more enthusiasm to provide for our patrons and for our customers,” he said.