The owner of the Majestic Dragon Chinese restaurant on Route 1 in Ipswich, Mass., was found dead inside his business late Tuesday morning, the Essex County District Attorney's Office confirmed Tuesday.
Restaurant employees found the body of Shui Keung Tony Woo when they opened the restaurant at 11:14 a.m. EDT Tuesday morning, said Steve O'Connell, Essex District Attorney spokesman; he was pronounced dead at the scene. The death was ruled suspicious, but police did not release the cause of death pending an autopsy.
We have ruled the death a homicide, O'Connell said. We are withholding the cause and manner of death pending an autopsy. O'Connell said he expected the autopsy to be performed on Wednesday.
A More Than 20-Year Restaurant Veteran
Woo, a 62-year-old Quincy resident, had operated his family-run restaurant from more than 20 years. The restaurant was reportedly has a popular bar with loyal customers.
No human being with a soul could ever do this, Jaime Davis said outside the restaurant where she regularly dines, the Boston Globe reported.
Ipswich Police Chief Paul Nikas, whose department is investigating Woo's death along with the district attorney and state police, said Woo was well-liked and well-known in town.
We've never had any issues here, Nikas said in an afternoon press conference.
O'Connell also said he couldn't comment on a motive or whether the murder was associated with a robbery or other crime.
Raymond Morley, chairman of the Ipswich Board of Selectman, said he knew little about Woo's death.
Woo was known to keep large amounts of cash inside, and some of his business neighbors speculated as to whether the money was the reason for his death, The Boston Globe reported.
Art Silva and his wife, Judy, who own a nearby store, said they knew Woo for 18 years. It was his routine, they said, to wait until Tuesday to take the money earned over the busy weekend shifts to the bank; he would count the cash in plain view of patrons, they said.
We'd go over there on a Tuesday, and they would be toting a huge amount of money right there in the open, Art Silva said. His wife added: They would count bags and bags of money and spread it out on the bar, counting it, putting it in envelops, and making out the deposit slip. Everybody knew it. I wouldn't go over on a Tuesday because I thought it was so dangerous.
Woo was married with two sons and a young granddaughter.
The D.A.'s office, the Ipswich Police and State Police are continuing their investigation into the murder.