(Jan 2. 2004) -- On the first day of 2004, another man of Cambodian descent was fatally shot in Long Beach...the sixth shot since October 19 and the fifth to die.
At roughly 11:57 p.m. in the area of 15th St. and Orange Ave. in the 6th Council district, LBPD says that 22-year old Sakom Phan, 22, of LB was found in his car with multiple gunshot wounds to his upper torso. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died.
As first reported by Nancy Wride in the Los Angeles Times, five other individuals of Cambodian descent have been shot in LB (and four others have died) since mid-October. Ms. Wride's report noted that LB drew national attention after the October 19 slayings of Sok Khak Ung, a U.S. Marine who survived combat in Iraq, and his friend Vouthy Tho, a former prom king from Wilson High. They were fatally shot while visiting Ung's family on 7th St. just east of Alamitos Ave. She also noted that on December 19, Daniel Chantha, 18, was fatally shot at a relative's home in the 1000 block of Atlantic Avenue...and on Dec. 27, Kimsot Sok was fatally shot, and another man of Cambodian descent was wounded, while sitting in a parked car in the area of 17th St. and Loma just southwest of the Traffic Circle.
Ms. Wride also reported that LBPD said the crimes did not appear to be related.
In the wake of the January 1 shooting, LBPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Paul LeBaron told LBReport.com that detectives had literally worked all night long on the January 1st murder...and would likely be working around the clock for a second night on the case.
Sgt. LeBaron said that while detectives don't have enough information to connect the latest murder to other crimes, they are looking into the possibility that all or some may be related although it's too early to say.
Sgt. LeBaron explained that as a general rule, when starting an investigation detectives are careful not to focus too quickly on one particular suspect so as not to overlook important clues pointing elsewhere. "At the outset of an investigation, detectives approach it with an open mind, ruling out nothing and considering everything so as not to jump to conclusions," Sgt. LeBaron said.
Anyone with information about this latest crime is asked to call LBPD Homicide Detectives Steven Smith or Scott Lasch at (562) 570-7244.
Developing. Further to follow as news breaks.