Witness describes man shooting into Asian store; Police search finds ammo, bullet proof vests

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    EVENDALE, Ohio (WLWT) — A man is facing charges after being accused of firing shots into an Asian grocery store inside a plaza in Evendale on Sunday.

According to court documents, witnesses said a man pulled up to the shopping plaza and fired several shots into Tokyo Foods. Court documents state the man walked around the lot and fired more shots into the business.

According to court documents, there were nine people inside a neighboring business when the shooting took place. Several of them took shelter inside a bathroom.

“I certainly didn’t expect to see this going out to dinner after a Bengals game,” said Dr. Jan Rosenbaum Sass.

She and her husband were on their way to Uncle Yip’s to eat dinner when they pulled into the parking lot and saw the shooter.

“We came up and saw a person with a gun in camouflage, pointing the gun at the window of the Tokyo Foods Store, firing into the window,” she said, adding that she told her husband to drive away and she called 911.

When officers arrived on the scene, police said the man was found in the parking lot with a pistol in hand and was taken into custody.

The man, identified as Daniel Beckjord, 33, has been charged with five counts of felonious assault and one count of improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation.

“When the defendant was taken into custody and Mirandized, he began saying nonsensical things like the reason that he was out of business was because he was the president of Tokyo and that Tokyo Foods was not in compliance. And that he was investigating sex trafficking, among other things, indicating the defendant was suffering from some mental illness,” Prosecutor David Wood said.

A search warrant was conducted at Beckjord’s home, where additional weapons, ammunition, magazines and bulletproof vests were located. A subsequent warrant for drug violations was also served.

“We also found a very large marijuana grow operation within the house. There’s a subsequent search warrant that’s being executed currently in regard to that. So there will be a multitude of further charges coming,” said officer Steve Roach, with the Evendale Police Department.

Officials say the motive for the shooting remains unclear at this time and the investigation is ongoing.

Police said Beckjord has had several recent arrests and contacts with law enforcement in Hamilton County, Belmont County and in Kentucky in Gallatin and Carrol County.

He has been charged with multiple crimes, including inducing panic, discharging a weapon into an occupied structure, and multiple counts of felonious assault.

Police said as the investigation continues, additional charges may be filed.

Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval posted to Twitter, commenting on the shots fired incident, writing, “This news is disturbing and unacceptable, and just days after the tragic Monterey Park shooting that has many in the AAPI community grieving. We continue to strongly condemn these horrific acts of violence and hate. My heart is with every person impacted by these recent events.”

Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Pavan Parikh issued the following statement:

“In the wake of the terrible mass shooting over the weekend in Monterey Park, California, my thoughts are with those who lost their lives and with their families. We learned this morning that an individual is accused of firing shots into an Asian grocery in Evendale. I am grateful to local law enforcement who was able to contain the situation that could have easily become a repeat of the deaths in California.

“I grew up in Evendale, and I am a proud Asian American. This event hits too close to home as I imagine my neighbors, friends, or family members out on a Sunday afternoon, headed out for groceries like any other weekend. I personally have frequented Uncle Yip’s, where people took refuge from the shots being fired at the grocery next door, on many occasions. Everyone deserves to be safe as they go out into their community.

“Our Asian American neighbors across this country have experienced an increase in violence, hate crimes, and racism since the beginning of the pandemic, and it is still happening. This is unacceptable.

“The vibrant Asian American community in Hamilton County is part of what makes our region such a great place to live and work. My thoughts are with those whose lives were forever changed after this weekend’s violent events. We must do better to protect our Asian American neighbors and come together in peace.”

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