The Shen Gallery of Fine Art located in Vodou, was broken into earlier this week by several armed men who made off with several paintings from the establishment, attacking and wounding owner Inara Shen.
“The robbers seemed somewhat organized with how they lured me outside by having the kid spray paint on the building, and then rushing towards me with a gun. ” Inara Shen revealed to the Hathian Observer when interviewed by our journalist. Apparently while in the gallery, Shen had heard some noise outside and gone to check on the source to see a teenager vandalizing the outside of her gallery with spray paint. The youth was wearing a ski mask and was unable to be identified from security camera footage. “I said ‘hey!’ and tried to get the kid to run off. He kept going at it, so I picked up my cell to call 911. It was mostly as a warning for the kid..But it worked to make him run off” Shen finished calling the police but at this point she made ” the mistake of stepping outside the gallery to check out the damages while I waited for them to pick up. That’s when the ringleader ran around from the corner of the gallery where he was hiding and grabbed me, holding a gun to my head.”
The ringleader of the men she described as posessing “an Irish accent. A really thick one.” She described how she was fired at, the shot missing but stunning her so that the ring leader was able to “grab my hair and put that gun in my face. That’s when the red van pulled up and two other men jumped out. The kid who had spray painted the wall then climbed IN the van, so I know it was part of the plan. They all wore ski masks or some other kind of masks.” Luckily for the owner, her boyfriend Takahiro Ugimachi was upstairs in the apartment above the gallery. He arrived to find the men grabbing the art and “the two inside scuffled with him. Taka managed to head butt one of them, but then the other one – he was armed with an axe – he cleaved Taka’s shoulder clean to the bone.” The commotion inside of the gallery along with the shot that had been fired managed to draw the attention of Detective Katsuragi who lives in “the house east of the gallery“, close by. Gunfire was returned by the detective on the men who were armed with a sledge hammer and a fire axe as well as one gun, bizarrely containing rubber bullets. When the shots started to fire out, Shen took a knife and tried to cut the ring leader, who promptly turned to shoot her in the chest by a rubber bullet. “”The ringleader, having gotten cut and shot, turned his gun on me and fired while he started yelling for the others to retreat. I got hit square in the chest.” Shen added, “If they didn’t intend to seriously harm anyone, as evidenced by the rubber bullet I was shot with, why did they bring a psycho with an axe and another with a sledgehammer as muscle? I’m really disturbed by the event. All in all, they made off with about twenty thousand dollars worth of art.”
Most interesting in this case and if true, shocking, is the identity of the man with the fire axe. The still pictured in this article shows the man with the fire axe who attacked Shen’s boyfriend Ugimachi. A victim of a robbery that occured recently, Sai Kennedy, was also threatened by a man with a fire axe. ” I was mugged right on main street. Blond girl in a mask, girl in a full mask over her head, a dog…and..a crazy dude in a hood and carrying a firemans axe.” Kennedy currently works for the gallery and is good friends with Shen. She denies that there might be any link between the two robberies apart from the male with the fire axe being present in both. Shen alleges that she met a man carrying a fire axe who stopped to talk to her on the day of the robbery. The very same weapon was used in the robbery by the masked man shown in the still who corresponds to the height and build of the man she met previously. She described him of having an Asian, possibly ‘Filipino’ appearance. It seems the same man might have been a part of this robbery, the weapon being a distinctive choice in this city where baseball bats and knives and even hammers are the usual choices and tools for criminals.
Shen would like for any member of the public who may know anything about this incident to come forward and also to help her locate the missing art if they manage to see it somewhere. “If anyone knows anything, or if anyone sees the stolen art, please contact either Detective Katsuragi (IM Ryoutaro), or the gallery (IM Inara Indigo). If one of those involved in the robbery step forward to assist in catching the others, I won’t press charges against them.”