Panha Nhean, 35
Panha Nhean, a 35-year-old Asian man, died Wednesday, April 4, after he was shot in the 5300 block of Orange Avenue in Long Beach, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Investigators were called to a converted garage about midnight, according to a news release from the Long Beach Police Department. There they found Nhean and two other men with gunshot wounds.
Suy Phavong, 52, who lived in the duplex in front of the garage, was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:25 a.m., according to coroner’s records. Nhean was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:38 a.m., according to coroner’s records.
The coroner’s autopsy results are still pending, but both men had gunshot wounds to their torsos, according to the news release.
A third man, identified only as a 47-year-old resident of Long Beach, was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to his arm. He is expected to survive.
Both Phavong and Nhean lived in Long Beach, according to coroner’s records, which said the men were Cambodian.
Investigators have released few details about the shooting or the suspect. But Phavong’s brother-in-law Sonny Sourn told reporters that Phavong was hanging out with Nhean and two other men in the garage when Phavong's wife, who was in the house, heard gunshots, KTLA reported.
She called her husband on his cell phone, Sourn said, and when he didn’t answer, she opened the door to go out back and saw a man she didn’t recognize running from the scene. A moment later, he said, she discovered the three gunshot victims in the garage.
Sourn said he didn’t know Nhean, according to the Long Beach Press Telegram, but he knew he was a taxi driver who sometimes spent time with Phavong and his other friends.
Investigators believe the fourth man may have been the shooter, Sourn told NBC4. Investigators told the family that “the taxi driver” —Nhean—may have been the target of the shooting, and the others were shot to eliminate the witnesses, Sourn said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Long Beach Police Det. Teryl Hubert or Scott Lasch at (562) 570-7244. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.