Two Friends Shot Dead in Cambodia Town Liquor Store in Long Beach
By Carl Samson
October 12, 2017
Two men of Asian descent were killed in a shooting at a liquor store in Long Beach, California, on Tuesday night.
Danny Bunthung, 21, died at the scene, and Dallas Som, 22, died at a hospital later. They were reportedly friends.
According to Long Beach police, the shooting around 9:25 p.m. at SR Liquor & Market was initially reported as a robbery when a clerk hit a silent alarm. Two other victims sustained minor injuries, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Investigations revealed that the victims were shot following an altercation with at least one armed suspect. They were all found inside the store, though it is unclear where exactly the shooting happened, according to CBS. Police are determining whether the incident is gang-related.
Long Beach has a long history of gang violence between Asians and Latinos that reportedly started in October 1989, a few years after Cambodian refugees settled in areas once occupied by Latinos. According to NPR, the newcomers were bullied and harassed by Mexican-American gangs that dominated the area. In retaliation, younger Cambodians teamed up with Laotian, Vietnamese and other Southeast Asians to form new all-Asian gangs.
Mikey Bunthung, Danny’s father, told KTLA that he does not know whether his son had enemies. A crowdfunding campaign was set up to help his family.
“I’m feeling, like, shocked, when I heard the news,” Mikey Bunthung said of his son, who was buying alcohol and cigarettes when the shooting took place
On Wednesday morning, loved ones placed candles, flowers and food around Bunthung and Som’s photos just outside the store.
Bunthung leaves a 3-year-old son, while Som, who worked at a car wash, leaves a girlfriend pregnant at four months, ABC noted.
The shooter is currently at large.
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