Trang Dai massacre

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The Trang Dai massacre in Tacoma, Washington occurred on July 5, 1998 when four gunmen entered the Trang Dai Cafe and opened fire, killing five diners and wounding five others. Detectives blamed the violence on warring Asian gangs.[1]

Incident[edit]

Just after 1:30 a.m. July 5, 1998, three masked gunmen burst into the Trang Dai Cafe and opened fire in the karaoke bar, killing four men and wounded five others. Two other gunmen kept watch out back and killed a waitress as she tried to leave. In all, 41 shots were fired.[2] The five killed were: Nhan Ai Nguyen, 26; Duy Le, 25; his brother, 27-year-old Hai Le; Tuong Hung Do, 33; and waitress Tuyen Vo, 21. Five were injured and eventually recovered from those injuries. Prosecutors claimed the suspects were targeting a patron, who was injured, because of a personal gripe. The crime remains one of Tacoma's worst mass slayings.[3]

Investigation[edit]

On July 18, 1998, Tacoma police officers conducted a large police operation in which they searched nine homes while looking for eight suspects in the case. Four were arrested during the operation. A fifth was arrested the next day on July 19.

An AK-47 found at one of the suspects’ homes was traced back to Bull's Eye Shooter Supply. The same gun shop that was the source of the weapon used in the Beltway sniper attacks.

The suspected ringleader, 22-year-old Ri Le, killed his younger half-brother, 17-year-old Khanh Trinh, (one of the gunman stationed at the back of the cafe) then himself in a murder-suicide pact as police officers closed in. The eighth suspect, 18-year-old Samath Mom, committed suicide in jail just a few hours after his arrest. The other five - Jimmie Chea, Marvin Leo, Veasna Sok, Sarun Truck Ngeth and John Phet - were convicted and sentenced.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 47°13′22.3″N 122°26′34.7″W / 47.222861°N 122.442972°W / 47.222861; -122.442972