Update: Victim in apparent gang-related slaying identified

Kim Minugh (The Sacramento Bee)
Jan. 28, 2010

The Sacramento County coroner’s office has identified the 22-year-old victim in Wednesday’s fatal shooting inside a southern Sacramento County Vietnamese restaurant as Gia Quoc Huynh.

Huynh was shot multiple times by an unknown assailant about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, as he ate lunch with three friends at the Pho Ga Hung Vietnamese Cuisine restaurant on Savings Place.

Sheriff’s Department detectives say the shooting likely was gang-related, citing the victim’s gang affiliation and the amount of gang activity in the area near Stockton Boulevard and 65th Street Expressway.

According to Sacramento Superior Court records, Huynh has twice been convicted of possessing a concealed weapon.

In 2005 and then again in 2007, he was charged with one felony count but pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count. For his most recent conviction, he was sentenced to 120 days in jail and three years of informal, searchable probation, records show.

Detectives are continuing their investigation today and have no further information to release at this time, said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran.

Witnesses described the gunman to deputies as a man between ages 28 and 35, 5 feet, 7 inches tall with a medium build. He wore a dark ski mask and a dark jacket.

Here is an earlier story:

In what authorities are calling a likely gang hit, a masked gunman walked into a southern Sacramento County Vietnamese restaurant Wednesday afternoon and executed a 22-year-old man at close range.

No words were exchanged before the unknown assailant fired a black semiautomatic handgun multiple times at the victim, hitting him in the head and chest, said Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tim Curran.

The gunman fled on foot down 53rd Avenue, and had not been identified by evening, Curran said.

Few homicides investigated by authorities, he said, are “as cold and as calculated as this one.”

“It’s very scary,” he said.

Curran said detectives suspect the killing to be gang-related because the victim had been validated as a gang member by law enforcement and because the area – near Stockton Boulevard and the 65th Street Expressway – is known for gang activity.

Deputies were called to the Pho Ga Hung Vietnamese Cuisine restaurant on Savings Place for a shooting just after 2:15 p.m., Curran said. They found a 22-year-old man, whose name was not released, on the restaurant’s floor. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

He is the fifth homicide victim within the Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction in 2010.

The victim was eating with three friends – a man and two women – when the suspect walked into the restaurant, up to their table and unloaded his gun, Curran said.

Three employees also were inside at the time, but nobody else was shot at or injured, Curran said. For that reason, he said, detectives suspect the victim was targeted.

Witnesses described the suspect to deputies as a man between age 28 and 35, 5 feet, 7 inches tall with a medium build. He wore a dark ski mask and a dark jacket.

Curran said the victim’s friends, who later wept in the parking lot, and the employees were cooperative with detectives. At this point, he said detectives do not believe they were involved in the killing.

The call drew roughly two dozen deputies and detectives, including a number of investigators from the gang unit. It also drew spectators, who stopped along the sidewalk of the busy 65th Street Expressway.

Richard Sims said he walks by the shopping center often while on his way to the grocery store. He described it as fairly quiet and humble.

But he agreed with the Sheriff’s Department’s assessment about gang activity in the area, and noted that people he believes are gang members often congregate at one of the businesses in the center and at another across the street.

“There’s something going on,” said Sims, 52. Gesturing toward the deputies, he added, “These cats know – the police know – but they don’t come by here.”

Curran said that’s because budget cuts and resulting layoffs mean deputies have little time for anything but emergencies.

“Unless there’s a call for service there, our deputies don’t have time to be proactive,” he said. “They’re going from call to call to call.”

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call homicide detectives at (916) 874-5057 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Posted by on Jan 28 2010. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “Update: Victim in apparent gang-related slaying identified”

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  2. J

    I can’t believe how cold the case got.

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