Suit Filed in Shooting Death of Man at Theater

The family of a Vietnamese man who was killed in a drive-by shooting at an Anaheim movie theater filed a $3.1-million wrongful death suit Wednesday against the theater and its owner.

Kia Van Cao, 34, of Santa Ana was caught in a spray of gunfire in the Cinemaland theater lobby on Sept. 30, 1984. Bullets from the passing car shattered a theater window, and Cao suffered a single gunshot wound in the stomach. He died Oct. 1.

Anaheim Police Sgt. Bill Wright said at the time that the drive-by method of attack was similar to those used in several previous gang-related shootings in the county’s Vietnamese community.

Cao’s wife, Kim Thi Van Vu, and his daughters, Cynthia, 5, and Carol, 3, filed suit against the theater and owner Trieu M. Tang, charging that Tang operated the theater negligently and took few security precautions, leading to Cao’s death.

Tang “knew or had reason to know of the possibility of attacks due to threats made against (him) by unknown parties,” the suit said. Tang and William W. Woo, Vu’s attorney, could not be reached for comment.