Vantha Tho, 35
Vantha Tho, a 35-year-old Asian woman, was shot and killed Thursday, July 28, in the 100 block of Herondo Street in Hermosa Beach, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Tho, a hair stylist and former Miss Cambodia America 1998, was sleeping in the room she rented just two blocks from the beach when her former boyfriend snuck into her room about 6:27 a.m. and began shooting, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Rosson.
“According to witnesses, there was no argument, just one scream and then the shots,” Rosson said.
Tho was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:49 a.m. with gunshot wounds to the head, according to coroner’s records.
Her estranged boyfriend, Angel Marquez, a 32-year-old Latino who lived in Los Angeles, shot himself immediately afterwards and was also pronounced dead at the scene, according to coroner’s records.
“We found the weapon, and there was a note,” Rosson said. “It just said he did it; it didn’t say why.”
Tho had ended the relationship months earlier, Rosson said, but Marquez allegedly continued to pursue her. “He was not able to let her go,” he said.
Marquez had allegedly broken into Tho’s house in the past and repeatedly harassed her, friends and family told the Daily Breeze.
Rodilyn Wooldridge, owner of the Evolution Salon in Hermosa Beach where Tho worked, said by text message that she has had to break the news of Tho's death to many of Tho's clients.
“I had the pleasure of knowing her for 10 years, and Vantha was the most beautiful soul who never had a bad thing to say about anyone,” Wooldridge wrote. “She never brought her problems to work, so none of us knew what she was going through. She always had a smile on her face.”
Tho’s family immigrated to the South Bay after escaping the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, and Tho, the oldest of four siblings, attended Long Beach schools, the Daily Breeze reported.
Hers is the second violent death in her family. Her brother, Vouthy Tho, a Woodrow Wilson High School prom king and aspiring rapper, was killed in October of 2003 after a man shot over a fence into a backyard where Tho was attending a family barbecue.
Vouthy Tho died of a gunshot wound to the head the next morning, on Oct. 19, 2003, according to coroner's records. The shooting remains unsolved.
An online fundraising account has been set up to help Tho’s surviving family members.