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
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.”