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Suspect in gas co. murders shoots self

March 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The suspect wanted in the murders of two Southern California Gas Company employees has been hospitalized after apparently shooting himself.Authorities identified the suspect as 36-year-old Phong Tran of Orange County.

Police say the suspect is in critical condition after it appears he tried to commit suicide. Tran was found in his SUV with an apparent gunshot wound to the head near the Anaheim police station on Harbor Boulevard.

Authorities believe Tran is responsible for killing his former co-workers, two separate gas company employees. Tran resigned from the company in 2007.

Anaheim police found 37-year-old Hung Dao of Westminster shot to death in his car outside the company's Anaheim office at 1919 S. State College Blvd. around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Charles Santisteban, 43, was found gunned down in his Pomona driveway around 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Santisteban had worked at the Anaheim plant up until about six months ago, when he left to take a different position with the company. His neighbors reported hearing a gunshot sometime before dawn.

Police had been looking for Tran when an officer noticed his SUV near the police station around 1:30 a.m. Thursday. They say Tran was sitting in the driver's seat and he seemed to be injured, but was still moving around. The window appeared to be blown out in his SUV.

SWAT officers were then called in. They surrounded the vehicle and fired a few non- lethal rounds into the SUV. When the officers got closer they realized Tran had shot himself in the head.

Officers pulled him from the vehicle, and he was transport to a local hospital.

Police say they recovered three handguns inside Tran's SUV. He used one of them to shoot himself in the head, and the other two are now being tested to see if they're connected with the murders of Tran's former co-workers.

Police also said Train had several weapons registered to him, and for the past several months, had been going to the gun range three to four times a week to practice.

Police are unsure if the victims had any part in Tran's resignation from the gas company.

"We cannot speculate. We don't know. We're trying to go through personnel records to determine what the cause of was, why he resigned, and what his motive and anger was toward the two victims," said Sgt. Tim Schmidt from the Anaheim Police Department.

Police said they were also concerned other workers were targeted and had alerted several employees on Wednesday.


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