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Ypsilanti Vietnamese Restaurant Under Attack After Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

Owners of Pho House deny that the alleged shooter is a family member after social media calls for a boycott

The Pho House restaurant marquee on a road at night reads “Now Open” with a telephone number listed.

The phones are still steadily ringing at Pho House in Ypsilanti. The angry calls have somewhat abated since last week as supporters have increased orders for the restaurant’s homemade Vietnamese pho.

Since Sunday, June 6, the restaurant has received a slew of calls from angry people looking for Ryan Le-Nguyen, 29, a man charged with shooting a 6-year-old local boy for allegedly leaving a bicycle in the man’s yard. The shooting was not life-threatening and the boy is expected to recover. Posters on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram say Le-Nyugen is connected to the restaurant.

In the aftermath of the shooting, New Era Detroit, an “organization formed to restore Black unity in Black communities in Detroit as well as across the nation,” encouraged social media followers last week to apply “pressure” prior to Le Nguyen’s bond hearing; a photo of the restaurant was on the posts. Pho House, the account claimed, is the “family business of the man who shot 6 year old boy.” The organization has more than 65,000 followers on Facebook, and nearly 60,000 on Instagram.

The restaurant, however, says the posters are wrong. In Facebook posts last week, the owners said Le-Nguyen doesn’t own the restaurant. He is a former employee, they said, who hasn’t worked there since 2015. “We have no affiliation with him whatsoever. And we are not related to him. And we do not support his actions,” one post reads. An employee who answered the phone at the restaurant this weekend said the owners were unclear how reports started that Le-Nguyen owned or was still affiliated with the restaurant.

Eater reached out over the weekend to New Era Detroit for comment and has not received a response as of publication.

During an emergency bond hearing on Thursday, June 10, Le-Nguyen’s bail was increased from $10,000 to $100,000, following community outcry over the original bail, MLive reported. He is being held for trial. Police have said that Le-Nguyen heard a commotion outside his home on June 6, told the children to leave, went back inside the house, and fired a gun through his window, which hit the boy, the site reported. The boy has non-life-threatening injuries. The incident was caught on video.

Other restaurateurs waded into the fray. Social media posts on the page of Miss Kim, a Korean restaurant in Ann Arbor, encouraged a redirection of “focus for justice” as well as support for the restaurant. “Hate is easy. Empathy and generosity takes more effort,” the post reads.

The new bail amount is a cash bond, meaning that Le-Nguyen will need to come up with the entire $100,000 — not just 10 percent. He is back in custody.