Gunshots, injuries in failed robbery

An employee and the owner of Rice King Chinese restaurant in Farragut thwarted a robbery attempt Friday, Dec. 30, but both were injured in the process — as was the suspect, who remained hospitalized as of Tuesday morning, Jan. 3.

According to a Knox County Sheriff’s Office incident report, the suspect, later identified as Humberto Hernandez, entered the restaurant, 12564 Kingston Pike, around 9 p.m. and placed an order at the counter with employee Boagchew Zhang.

When Zhang “went back to start cooking (the suspect’s) food, the suspect then went around the counter to the register,” the report stated. “Mr. Zhang saw him taking money out of the cash register and holding a gun in his hand.

“Mr. Zhang then jumped onto the suspect and grabbed hold of his hand that had the gun,” the report further stated. “They both then began to fight with each other, with Mr. Zhang yelling for the owner … Zhong Li (who) then came out after hearing the yelling and jumped in to help.

“Both victims were attempting to get the gun away from the suspect in fear of being harmed, when the suspect fired a round with Mr. Zhang getting hit on the side of his hand, and (Li) getting hit in the hand as well.

“The round went through Mr. Zhang’s hand and hit Hernandez in the knee area.”

Despite their injuries, “both employees held the suspect down until deputies arrived,” the report continued.

Both Zhang and Li were transported by private vehicle to Turkey Creek Medical Center for treatment.

Hernandez was taken via ambulance to University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he was read his legal rights and, according to the report, admitted the gun used in the attempted robbery was his. The suspect further stated, “he needed the money and was robbing the business.”

Hernandez was listed in stable condition as of Tuesday morning, Jan. 3.

Warrants have been placed on file, charging Hernandez with aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated assault, and are expected to be served after Hernandez is released.