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    News in Sight & Sound

    Familymembers Deliver Heartrending Statements (We Post Sound Clips) After U.S. Marine/Iraq Combat Veteran & His Friend Shot To Death, 1200 Block E. 7th St.; City Offers $15,000 Reward; County Offers $10,000

    (Oct. 23, 2003) -- Bereaved familymembers came to the LB City Council meeting on Oct. 21 and asked city officials for help in finding the gunman who murdered their loved ones: U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Sok Khak Ung -- an Iraq combat veteran who shot to death while visiting his family in LB -- and 21-year old Vouthy Tho -- who was attending the gathering and died in the shooting.

    Roughly 100 members of the Cambodian community accompanied the familymembers and rallied against violence outside City Hall .

    The killings occurred in the 1200 block of E. 7th St -- roughly a mile and a half from the LB civic center -- on Oct. 19 shortly after 1:00 a.m.

    Grief poured out at the podium. We post sound clips courtesy HTTV channel 21 (which will become LBTV channel 8 on Oct. 29) no LB resident will ever forget the unimaginable pain inflicted on these families and others victimized by such crime in LB.

    Mr. Tho, Oct 21/03
    Screen save courtesy HTTV Channel 21
    Vouthy Tho's father, Anthony, spoke alongside his daughter Gloria: Sound clip: Statement by Mr. Anthony Tho.

    [Editor's note: We have not posted the photo and sound of daughter Gloria only because she is a minor. She delivered a heartfelt, compelling statement.]

    Lance Cpl. Ung's sister, Davann, and her brother Vibol, brought a photograph of their brother, a decorated Iraq combat veteran.

  • Statement by Vibol Ung
  • Statement by Davann Ung
  • Vibol & Davann Ung Oct 21/03
    Screen save courtesy HTTV Channel 21

    After the familymembers spoke, LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill delivered an extemporaneous statement: Statement by Mayor O'Neill re Ung, Tho murders.

    With guidance from City Attorney Bob Shannon, the City Council invoked a statutory exemption to the usual notice requirements of the Brown Act and passed an emergency resolution to offer a reward of $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer(s).

    Earlier in the day, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors put up a $10,000 reward.

    Prior to the Oct. 21 Council meeting, members of LB's Cambodian community rallied outside City Hall, calling for an end to violence.

    As previously reported by, in Sept. 2003 LB's Chief of Police Anthony Batts told the City Council that the city needed 130 more police officers.

    "By our command staff estimates, we're down 90 officers in patrol calls for service, 10 detectives, and we need another thirty officers for new walking and bike beats in our most crime prone neighborhoods and in our growing downtown residential and entertainment center. That's a total of 130 officers, to date, this moment, right now," Chief Batts said at a Sept. 16 Council budget workshop.

    Responding to Chief Batts' presentation, the president of the Long Beach Police Officers Association, Steve James, told Councilmembers, "Plain and simple, you have a Chief that finally came down here and finally told you the truth."

    The Council responded politely to Chief Batts' presentation...but didn't come up with the cops he wanted.

    Related coverage: Safer in Baghdad? Iraq Combat Vet Shot To Death, 1200 Block E. 7th St.

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