Police have identified the culprit in a Sunday night San Jose shooting as 66-year-old Chi Dinh Ta, and relatives tell news outlets that he shot four family members and himself over a case of visa jealousy.
It's been a bloody few days in the San Jose area, with a second murder-suicide involving two shooting victims at a Morgan Hill car dealership just last night. But Sunday evening's domestic incident that left five people dead is now producing more details.
Early reports Monday morning of a San Jose police standoff and quadruple murder-suicide contained no information about the victims, suspect, or motives, only that the incident occurred on the 500 block of Habbitts Court in southeast San Jose. The inevitably sad and gruesome details are now emerging, as the San Jose Mercury News reported the now-deceased suspect has been identified as 66-year-old Chi Dinh Ta, who shot the four relatives because he was upset that his wife’s family was granted visas to come to the US from Vietnam and his family was not.
The Merc spoke with To Van Khaut, who says he’s the suspect’s wife’s cousin. “He was jealous that his wife was able to sponsor her family and he was not able to bring his family here because of things in his record,” Khuat said of the suspect. “That is the cause.”
Digging further, the Mercury News discovered that Ta’s family was denied because of a 1998 robbery he’d been convicted of in Orange County. The gun Ta used in the incident was reported stolen in Tucson, AZ in 2017, and he’d been barred from owning a firearm because of that second-degree robbery conviction.
A neighbor who has known Ta for 20 years described him to ABC 7 as a hard-working man who worked in construction. The neighbor also said that there had been some problems at the home, and police had been called there just last week.
“I’ve been here for 27 years, and I don’t remember another incident where a suspect murdered four people and then killed himself,” San Jose Police Dept. Sgt. Enrique Garcia told KTVU. "And it’s just sad overall when you have something like this happen. It’s terrible."
Police arrived at the scene at 8:30 Sunday night after neighbors reported hearing gunshots, according to KRON 4. A standoff ensued, and police ultimately got inside the house at 1:30 a.m. Monday morning to find Ta dead by his own hand, and two other dead women. Two other relatives who had escaped the house with gunshot wounds later died in the hospital.
Ta’s wife, daughter were able to escape unhurt by hopping a fence. The names of the victims have not been released, as the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroners office has not yet notified next of kin.