Gilbert Chinese restaurant picks up the pieces after driver crashes into building

A driver crashed into a Gilbert restaurant on Tuesday morning, the police department said, and the driver is dead.

The crash happened near Ray and Cooper roads on May 14 around 10 a.m. Sadly, police say the driver died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Dragon Wok Fine Chinese Restaurant employees are left picking up the pieces after the crash.

The family member who set up a fundraiser, Michael Szeto, says the crash is "leaving us unable to run our business for we don’t know how long. Now we have the daunting task of putting the business back together. We have been in business for 19 years and this breaks my heart to see my family's business like this."

Tuesday morning was business as usual for employees and customers at the strip mall.

"I was foiling hair," said Ashlee McKinnon, owner and stylist at ERA Salon.

The tables were set next door at Dragon Wok. The family-owned business and Gilbert go-to spot was ready to open its doors until McKinnon heard a massive crash.

"We actually thought something fell off the roof," she said.

Instead, a car was inside Dragon Wok. The car has been removed, but the damage and shattered glass are left behind.

The glass is being shoveled, and the walls are boarded up.

"This is not just, not, damage," Sam Szeto, Dragon Wok owner said. "It's really a mental stress."

For him and his wife, it’s more than a restaurant. It's a place loved by the community.

"Just painful. OK? Really painful," Sam said.

Now, with an empty kitchen and empty dining room, Sam is still looking to pay his staff and open his doors.

Many customers stopped by on Tuesday night to have dinner, but Sam, emotionally, had to turn them away.

"It’s hard, I’m trying to be strong. Damage is damage, OK? But the guy, no. Life is important," Sam said.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the business recover from the incident.


If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Support in Spanish is also available. Call or text 988 or chat at

CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide.

Map of the area where the crash happened: