Suy Phavong, 52
Suy Phavong, a 52-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 behind Phavong’s home about midnight, according to a news release from the Long Beach Police Department. There they found Phavong and two other men with gunshot wounds.
Phavong was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:25 a.m., according to coroner’s records. Panha Nhean, a 35-year-old Cambodian man, 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.
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 three other men in the garage when his wife, who was in the house, heard gunshots, KTLA reported.
She called her husband on his cellphone, 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 thee 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” may have been the target of the shooting, and the others were shot to eliminate the witnesses, Sourn said.
Phavong was the married father of five children who came to the United States in 1979 as a Cambodian refugee, Sourn said. He worked in construction to support his family, NBC4 reported.
“We are at a loss and don’t understand why this happened,” Angely Prok wrote on the fundraising page she created to help the family cover burial expenses.
“He got along with everyone,” Prok wrote of Phavong. “He was a good friend to anyone and everyone. He was the most humble person. ... No words could describe what or how we feel.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Long Beach Police Dets. Teryl Hubert or Scott Lasch at (562) 570-7244. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.