LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Police were able to track the suspect in the Dec. 20 shooting of a waiter at the Shanghai Taste restaurant because of the distinctive clothing he wore, and eventually arrested him a week later at a mental health facility after he was spotted wearing the same clothing.
Rashawn Gaston-Anderson, 23, is charged with attempted murder with a deadly weapon, attempted robbery with a deadly weapon and battery with a deadly weapon. He remains jailed with no bail at the Clark County Detention Center.
He is accused of shooting Chengyan Wang 11 times just before 3 a.m. as Wang was cleaning up at the restaurant.
Wang, who speaks Mandarin, told police in an interview two days after the shooting that he couldn’t understand what the suspect wanted when he was startled as the man showed up at the restaurant. The only word he could make out was “money” before the suspect pulled out a black gun from behind his back and started shooting. He told police he thought the gun was a Glock 17 9mm — a gun he recognized from trips to a shooting range with a friend.
Details from an arrest report show that surveillance video gave police a head start on identifying the suspect, and staff at Spring Valley Hospital recognized Gaston-Anderson by the description gathered from the video. He was treated for an injury at the hospital just hours after the shooting. He told hospital staff that his right hand was injured when he was hit by a vehicle. He was treated and released just before noon on Dec. 20. He had identified himself as “Rashon Anderson” at the hospital.
Hospital staff remembered his clothing, particularly the unique style of his pants, according to police.
Police had distributed a description following the shooting.
His clothing was described as a blue hooded jacket, white surgical mask, white pants with black on the bottom half of the pants and black Nike shoes with an orange/pink Nike emblem.
A report matching his description led police to the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets outdoor mall on Dec. 21, but they didn’t find him. A review of surveillance video showed he was wearing some of the same clothing, police said.
Police arrested Gaston-Anderson on Dec. 27 after staff at the Desert Parkway Mental Health Facility recognized him from the police description. He had identified himself as “Rashawn Gaston” and he was wearing the same sweater he had been spotted in earlier.
He spoke to police briefly after he was read his Miranda rights, but stopped talking when he was told he would be charged with attempted murder.
Police had described him early in the investigation as a homeless man, but Gaston-Anderson said he was living with a friend and occasionally doing bike deliveries for Door Dash. He could not give police a location where he was living.
A Gofundme page set up for Wang has raised $52,000 to help pay his medical bills.