New court documents suggest the man accused of wiping out a Chinese American family in Cypress, Texas, in 2014 committed the crime out of professional jealousy.
Feng Lu, 58, was arrested in San Francisco after returning on a flight from China on Sunday. He was charged with capital murder for allegedly gunning down Maoye Sun, 50, his wife Mei Xie, 49, and their two sons — Titus, 9, and Timothy, 7 — in their Fosters Creek Drive home on Jan. 24, 2014.
The case, which made headlines in China at the time, sprung various theories on the suspect’s motive, such as the involvement of a Chinese government official, a professional assassination and a hate crime. But a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors on Wednesday revealed that it all boiled down to a work dispute, according to the Houston Chronicle.
During a police interview, Lu claimed to work alongside Maoye Sun at Cameron International Corporation, an oil and gas company now under Schlumberger Limited, where Sun was a mechanical engineer.
Lu hoped to transfer to Cameron’s research and development department and asked Sun for a recommendation. However, he later learned that Sun did not tend to his request, so he called to confront him, according to the documents.
Sun reportedly assured Lu that he made the recommendation. But Lu said the next day, his colleagues treated him “differently,” triggering his suspicion that Sun may have sabotaged his promotion.
Lu’s wife later confirmed a disagreement between her husband and Sun. She told police that Lu wanted to advance at Cameron, but Sun “did not agree with the promotion,” as per the Washington Post.
Aside from Lu’s alleged motive, the documents show that he had made conflicting statements to investigators. Among them was about a gun he had purchased from a west Houston store in the month of the murder, which he returned without a barrel on Feb. 4, 2014.
In one interview, Lu claimed that his wife had thrown the gun barrel away, but the latter contradicted him later, saying she never took the barrel and that she only knew he had a gun after the FBI visited to talk to him. In another interview, Lu claimed he had lost the barrel himself while cleaning it outside a grocery store.
Lu, however, was connected to the murder through DNA evidence found in Mei Xie’s purse in the crime scene. This reportedly contradicted his statements that he had never been to the Sun’s family’s house, never knew its location and never met Maoye’s wife or children.
Lu is being held at San Mateo County Jail and awaiting extradition to Texas. The case remains under investigation, and anyone with information is asked to call 713-274-9100 or CrimeStoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).
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