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Keni Su'a, shown with ex-wife Lenni Su'a, was remembered by a friend as 'a humble, gentle man with a great smile and a heart for God' on a memorial page on Facebook. ((Courtesy Lenni Su'a))

A bystander fleeing gunfire in a Calgary restaurant was one of three people killed in the New Year's Day gang shooting, police confirmed Monday.

Police said  Keni Su'a, 43, ran out of the Bolsa Vietnamese restaurant after two men entered and opened fire. Su'a was confronted by a third suspect before being gunned down by the original two shooters in the restaurant's parking lot.

Police said Su'a, a Canadian citizen, had only immigrated to Canada a few years ago from the Polynesian country of Samoa.

The gunmen were targeting two men and a woman sitting at a table in the restaurant Macleod Trail and 94th St. SE, police said. Su'a was not among them.

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Three assailants walked into the Bolsa Vietnamese restaurant and opened fire on a table where two men and a woman were sitting. ((CBC))

The woman escaped but the two men were killed.

Police identified the two dead men as Sanjeev Mann, 22, a Calgary man who is a known gang member. Also killed was Aaron Bendle, 21, of Calgary.

Police have said it's likely the shooting was an escalation of violence between two rival gangs in the city. At least one of the victims was wearing a vest designed to protect him against bullets, police said.

Owner worried about restaurant

Viet Tran, who runs Bolsa with his wife, hasn't been able to get into his restaurant to feed his fish since the shooting. Tran said the closure is costing him about  $1,000 a day and he worries that when he can finally reopen, his customers won't come back.

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Aaron Bendle, remembered here on a Facebook page, was killed in a shooting at Bolsa Restaurant on New Year's Day.

"I do good food for them. I hope they come back because my restaurant [is] very nice."

Glyne Cayetano, a regular customer, said she immediately worried about the owners when she found out about the recent shooting.

"It's a nice place. The food is good and the people that work there, who own the store, are really happy and they make you love the place. It's my family's favourite restaurant."

Earlier on New Year's Day, a man was stabbed to death in northeast Calgary. Mustafa Mohammad Moussa, 24, a newcomer to Canada from Somalia, was one of three injured people whom police found in front of a strip-mall pub on Whitefield Drive.