Aerials shots were fired by police in downtown Ho Chi Minh City late Wednesday night in an effort to end an armed gang fight between business rivals.
Ten gang members representing both sides of the conflict were arrested while others were sent for treatment at a local hospital, District 1 police said on Thursday.
Around 10:00 pm on the day, dozens of young men from two rival gangs gathered in front of a restaurant on Calmette Street in District 1, a CBD, armed with knives, machetes, and metal tubes.
“They were covered in tattoos, with weapons in their hands and a murderous look on their faces, as if they had been ready to fight to their death,” an eye-witness recalled. “It was terrifying. Some passers-by turned around and fled the scene, while others parked their vehicles safely away from the site to notify police and reporters.”
Police arrived at the scene just as the fight was breaking out.
Upon the arrival of law enforcement, many of the gang members fled over the Calmette Bridge into District 4, while others sought shelter inside the restaurant at number 92 Calmette.
Despite the building being surrounded by the police, the remaining men from both gangs began fighting inside the diner.
By 10:15 pm, a gang member had broken free from the fight and escaped the building, calling for help to treat the multiple wounds on his body.
The man, later identified as 27-year-old Hanoi resident Nguyen Tien Thanh, was immediately taken to the hospital for emergency treatment.
As the night wore on, screams and shouts from the violent fight poured from the restaurant and a police line was set up to keep locals and reporters a safe distance from the building.
Police entered the building multiple times throughout the course of the fight, at one point carrying out two seriously injured men, one of whom was unconscious.
According to a senior officer of Nguyen Thai Binh Ward Police in District 1, five gang members aged 19 to 20 were apprehended inside the restaurant while resisting arrest.
Others tried to flee by climbing to the restaurant’s roof, forcing police officers to fire aerial shots as a deterrent.
Five men aged 22 to 33 were arrested on the roof despite their efforts to resist with knives and machetes.
Two 1.5-meter metal tubes with bayonet-like blades fixed to one end were confiscated, among other weapons.
Pills suspected to be ecstasy were also found inside the restaurant.
According to initial police investigations, the fight erupted after a dispute over the ownership and management of the restaurant.