The suspect in the slayings of two Southern California Gas Co. employees in Pomona and Anaheim shot himself in his vehicle outside the Anaheim police station today and was hospitalized in critical condition with a head wound, police reported. Anaheim police declined to identify the suspect until is family can be notified.
"All we are saying right now is that he is a 36-year-old Asian man who is a resident of Orange County," Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez said early Thursday. A video photographer at the scene said the name "Tran" was being used by police as they attempted to coax the driver to surrender before they realized he had shot himself in the head. Officers recovered two handguns from the vehicle, Martinez said, adding that they will be tested against the slugs taken from the two homicide victims to see if there is a match.
Police had been searching for the gunman who killed Hung Duy Dao, 37, of Westminster, a field technician at the gas company's Anaheim plant who had worked there about six years, and Charles Rene Santisteban, 43, a supervisor who also had worked at the plant but transferred six months ago to the utility's Pasadena plant. The investigation into the killings began Tuesday night when Dao's body was found around 10:30 p.m. after he was shot in his car in the Gas Co. lot at 1919. S. State College Boulevard in Anaheim. The murder investigation expanded to Pomona after Santisteban was found shot to death in his driveway in the 300
block of East La Verne Street early Wednesday morning. The suspect's vehicle was spotted parked on the side of the road by the
detention center next to the police station by a patrolling Anaheim police cruiser around 1:30 a.m. today, Martinez said.
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"We had descriptions of both the suspect vehicle and the suspect from both the Anaheim and Pomona shootings," said Martinez. "In both cases it was the same vehicle, a gray 2007 Toyota Rav4, and the same description of the suspect.
"He said he saw the Toyota parked legally beside the detention facility which sits next to the station and decided to take a closer look because we were searching for that model," Martinez said.
"The officer pulled in behind the Rav4 and saw that a person was slumped in the driver seat and a side window was blown out," said Martinez. "He also saw that the driver appeared to be bleeding from some kind of wound."
Martinez said the officer called for backup and police shut down the street. An armored vehicle was then brought up to serve as cover so the police could extract the driver from the Toyota. "The driver was clearly injured but still moving around in the driver seat, so a threat did exist and that's why we took the extra precaution of bringing up the armored vehicle," he said. Martinez said that officers using the armored vehicle as cover approached the driver and saw that he had shot himself in the head. The suspect
was then taken out of the Rav4 and treated by Anaheim City paramedics. He was then transferred to the hospital, where he was reportedly in critical condition. Martinez said police did not immediately determine a motive in the slayings. Anyone with information about the shootings was asked to call Anaheim investigators at (714) 765-1900, or Pomona police Detectives Andy Bebon or Mark McCann via a tip line at (909) 620-2085.