Windows shattered and families ran for cover Sunday night after an argument between two men in front of a Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant in Southern California escalated to a shooting, authorities said.
No injuries were reported after at least 13 rounds, some striking windows and walls just a few feet from some customers, were fired at about 8 p.m. outside the family pizzeria at 6005 Rosemead Boulevard in Pico Rivera, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. About 50 people were in the restaurant at the time.
"It sounded like fireworks," said witness Sergio De La Cruz. "It could have been dangerous. It could have hit a child."
Shattered glass from the restaurant's windows fell to the ground and the windows of a van parked in the lot also were blown out. Customers reported hearing several gunshots before rounds struck the building.
"We were just about to start eating and then we just heard the shooting," said Sylvia Monge, who was celebrating her daughter’s seventh birthday. "We went on the floor and looked for our kids, it was very scary.
"I don’t know why they do this where kids are playing. A few bullets came inside."
No arrests were reported Monday morning. Authorities said it remained unclear whether the individuals involved in the shooting were in the restaurant at any point during the evening.
One subject left the scene in a dark-color car. The other left in a pickup.
Video from a security camera outside the business was described by police as "poor quality."
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's Operation Safe Streets Bureau, involved in gang investigation and enforcement, is working on the investigation. Authorities have not confirmed the shooting is gang related.
The store reopened Monday at 11 a.m. Wooden boards covered damaged windows on both sides of the front entrance.
The company said in a statement that four shots had been fired. But reports from the scene indicated that at least three times more had been discharged.
"We want parents and caregivers to know that we endeavor to take great measures to protect the experience children and families have in our stores. Many of the measures we have in place – such as our Kid Check program, employment of security guards, active security camera systems and additional safety precautions – are transparent to our guests to encourage an environment Where a Kid Can Be a Kid," the statement said in part.