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Suspect in gas co. murders hated victims

March 26, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A former Southern California Gas Co. employee suspected of fatally shooting two of his ex-co-workers apparently hated the victims and may have believed they forced him out of his job, police said Wednesday.Phong Thuc Tran is suspected of killing 37-year-old Hung Duy Dao of Westminster and 43-year-old Charles Santisteban. Anaheim police found Dao shot to death in his car outside the company's Anaheim office at 1919 S. State College Blvd. last Tuesday. Santisteban was found gunned down in his Pomona driveway around 6 a.m. the next day.

The 36-year-old suspect shot himself in his SUV outside the Anaheim police station on Harbor Boulevard last Thursday.

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 transported to a local hospital. Tran died at the hospital on Saturday.

Police recovered three handguns in Tran's SUV. Police also said Tran 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.

Friends of Tran told police that the suspect thought he was fired or forced to resign from his job as a field technician in 2007, but Southern California Gas Co. officials said he resigned, Anaheim police Sgt. Rick Martinez said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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