Three Laotian Youths Arrested For Killing Laotian Couple

I saw this breaking news last night on one of local channel.  The Laotian Community lost two of hard working people to senseless shooting and their daughter is in critical condition.  It is so sad to hear about such of news, my heart goes out to their families.  The worse part of this crime was committed by none others than our laotian youths age 18, 16 and 15.  As a member of laotian community, I am sad for both sides of families.

This story hits so close to home, this Asian Market used to owned by one of my cousin.


Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011

Family members shattered over Modesto store killings

By Rosalio Ahumada

Vahn and Phouvieng Thammavongsa were a hardworking married couple who came to this country 30 years ago with a goal of making a better life for their three children.

They achieved that goal 15 years ago, saving enough money to buy a small Asian goods market on Yosemite Boulevard next to Modesto’s crime-ridden airport neighborhood.

The Thammavongsas sometimes stayed late and were open every day to make ends meet. In time they established a business well-known to neighborhood residents and supported by steady stream of loyal customers.

Their family and neighbors who were at their west Modesto home this morning said the Thammavongsas had never been the victims of serious crime before Tuesday afternoon, when gunmen opened fire in their market.

The shooting’s motive isn’t clear, but Thammavongsas are dead.

Their 28-year-old daughter was critically injured during the attack at the market, and she remained at a hospital today on life-support machines, police said.

Three teenagers with suspected ties to gangs were arrested late Tuesday night on suspicion of the shooting.

Modesto police have not released the names of the victims shot at the V&V Oriental Market at 1320 Yosemite Boulevard. Police said a 55-year-old man, who owns the market, and his 49-year-old wife died in the shooting.

Family members, however, identified the Thammavongsas as those killed by gunmen.

More than a dozen grieving relatives on Wednesday converged at the Thammavongsas’ west Modesto home.

They gathered to honor the lives of the married couple, while praying for the daughter’s condition to improve.

“They were always the one watching the store,” said Lino Sivilay, 30, a relative. “Both of them were really good parents. They’re a really close family.”

Lisa Sanachay, the Thammavongsas’ niece, said the couple renovated the market a little at a time, so their upgrades could be affordable.

“They would work seven days a week, even on holidays to make ends meet,” she said.

Jay Deres, 28, works at the Niyme Furniture store next to the V&V market, and he knew the Thammavongsas well. He said the area’s business owners are a really close group, and they’re all shocked about the violent attack on one of their neighbors.

“We haven’t re-opened; it will be a while before we get back to normal,” Deres said. “We’re kind of scared. We’re wondering if they’re going to come back and do this to us.”


10 thoughts on “Three Laotian Youths Arrested For Killing Laotian Couple

    1. seeharhed Post author

      Jeffrey, it is a tragic story. I found out last night that the woman killed is my friend’s aunt. I talked to her briefly and told me that her cousin is on critical cares with a gunshot on her face. This young woman was born with autism and is now hanging on for her dear life. It is so sad.

      I guess things are a lot different compare to when I was at those guys age. I was too busy playing sports and chasing the girls.

  1. Cambree

    This is very sad news. My heart goes out to the families. This year is just starting off with too many violence and deaths. 😦

    Btw do you know the details of this story? Was it a robbery gone wrong? Did the store owners have security cameras or firearms? Did all three young man commit this crime or was there one guy who decided to shoot everyone? The local news doesn’t give us much info.

    1. seeharhed Post author

      Cambree, the news got even more sad. I found out last night that their critical injured autistic daughter had also pass away sometime yesterday morning. I’m just numbs and my heart goes out to their families that are preparing for the funeral.

      I haven’t really got much details on what really happened that afternoon. You are right about the local news didn’t cover the story in much of details. The only reason they caught those kids because of next door furniture store security camera caught them running out to the car and took off. They were able to get the description of the car and plate numbers.

    1. seeharhed Post author

      Nye, it is too sad.. I just can’t imagine how tough it is for the families.. Now, they will have a funeral for all three on coming Friday.

      Thanks for the link, I saw it earlier and some court appearance video. Two of the kids are laotian and one cambodian.

    1. seeharhed Post author

      Dallas, I do feel the same way as you on this case. As a tax payer in State of California, our tax money shouldn’t go toward keeping these cowards in jail for all their lives. As soon as the court find them all guilty, they should just put them on gas chambers or line them up for lethal injections. I don’t believe in second chance on this particular case.

  2. lady0fdarkness

    It made me sick to learn that it was none other than Lao youngsters who commited the murders. Sorry for my language, but that is just fucked up!!!! Shame on them. They belong in one place…… and , no not Jail. They belong in Hell!!!

    1. seeharhed Post author

      I think majority of folks do feels the same way as you do. I’m pretty sure the parents of those boys might even know the victims or even shop at that store.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s