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Votes

Details of the Offense

In January 2011, Tony Tong had a preliminary hearing in connection with the death of his wife, Kathleen Tran. Homicide Det. Brian Colligan explained the events leading up to the Oct. 22, 2010 tragedy. He said Tran had driven their son John home from a friend’s house and, some time after 1 a.m., they arrived home to find Tong, then 43, furious.In January 2011, Tony Tong had a preliminary hearing in connection with the death of his wife, Kathleen Tran. Homicide Det. Brian Colligan explained the events leading up to the Oct. 22, 2010 tragedy. He said Tran had driven their son John home from a friend’s house and, some time after 1 a.m., they arrived home to find Tong, then 43, furious.

"[Tong] said there was another man in the car with them and he didn’t think that was appropriate," testified the detective. "John told him he was crazy, and then [Tran] got involved in the argument. They went to the third level of the house, where Tran and [their other son] James tried to separate Tong and John."

When the argument ended, said Colligan, "Tong retrieved his .45-caliber gun from the master bedroom and put it on his person. Around 1:30 a.m., Tong went downstairs and drank a beer. He said he called his brother and sister in Vietnam to say he wouldn’t be seeing them anymore because he was going to end things. He only talked to his sister because his brother wasn’t there. I asked him if he was saying goodbye to his sister because he was going to kill his wife and commit suicide, and he said yes."

Colligan said Tran overheard the call and went to her bedroom — where she’d slept apart from Tong for several years. "He knocked on her door and said he wanted to talk with her, and she let him in," said Colligan. "They argued over marital affairs and she said she no longer respected him."

Then, said the detective, Tong pointed his semi-automatic pistol at Tran and fired. "The gun then had a slight malfunction, but he fixed it so it would fire again," said Colligan. "She tried to leave and he fired two more rounds and she fell to the ground."

Hearing his mother yell for help, James rushed into the room and Tong told him to go get his brother. "[Tong] said he put the gun into his mouth to commit suicide, but John came into the room and tackled him," said Colligan. "The gun went off again, but the bullet [passed Tong’s] ear. He and John struggled for the weapon and John beat him up."