The identities of the father and mother who died in a murder-suicide at a San Jose shopping center, with their young daughter sitting nearby, were released Monday afternoon.
San Jose police say Trung Quoc Nguyen, 32, walked up to Emanuel Tran Phoung Nguyen, 39, at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Gould Center, located near McLaughlin Avenue and East Capitol Expressway. He fired a single shot to her head, then turned the gun on himself.
Both Nguyens, who each lived in San Jose, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers found their 17-month-old girl strapped into a car seat in a silver vehicle just a few feet away. She was unhurt and was placed under the custody of Santa Clara County Child Protective Services.
Police say the motive for the murder-suicide remains under investigation, but they have said the two were a former couple.
"They're not releasing anything else right now," said Sgt. Jason Dwyer, a department spokesman.
Tuan Dinh, 37, a childhood friend of the purported killer, said Trung Nguyen was an educated former IBM worker who had brought the infant, his only child, by their home recently. Dinh saw the father on Friday, the day before the killing, and said he "seemed normal."
Dinh said Trung Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam and moved to Indonesia before coming to the United States, never mentioned the mother of his child.
"I can't imagine that he'd do something like this," Dinh said Monday. "He's
On Monday, Emanuel Nguyen's family members locally and in New Jersey were too distraught to talk. Her cousin, who declined to give his name, said her parents do not speak English.
"They're in a very bad mood right now," the cousin said.
Leaders in the Vietnamese community said they could not find out anything about either the suspect or the victim Monday. Councilwoman Madison Nguyen said officials and local community members are especially concerned about finding local family members for the sake of the child.
"We definitely want the child to be in a good place," Madison Nguyen said.
Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408 920-5705.
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