Scorned Boyfriend Kills Ex-Girlfriend, Himself

Times Staff Writer

The breakup of a romance led to murder and suicide early Sunday outside a Santa Ana home, where a scorned boyfriend shot his 23-year-old former girlfriend in the head, then killed himself, police said.

Vo Hiep Ngoc, 28, died instantly after shooting himself on the front lawn of his home in the 4000 block of West Morningside Avenue, police said.

His estranged girlfriend, Thi Cam Nguyen, 23, of Garden Grove, died two hours after the shooting.

Witnesses in the neighborhood reported the gunfire about 4 a.m., said Santa Ana Police Sgt. Randy Eldridge, who provided the following account:


In the front yard of Ngoc’s home, the couple got into a loud argument about their breakup. The two began to struggle and soon were in the street near the intersection of West Street and Morningside--a neighborhood south of 17th Street, between Newhope Street and Harbor Boulevard.

Ngoc allegedly knocked Nguyen to the ground, then shot her once in the head with a .38-caliber revolver.

He then picked her up and half-dragged her into the front yard of his home, where he shot her at least one more time in the head. Witnesses said Ngoc then put the gun to his own temple and pulled the trigger.

Police arrived and found both bodies on the front lawn. Ngoc was declared dead at the scene. Nguyen was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where she was pronounced dead about 6 a.m., Eldridge said.


Police Sgt. Larry Wagstaff said he did not know what provoked the breakup of the relationship or how long the couple had been together.

Luz Ramirez, who lives across the street from Ngoc’s house, said she and her family heard what they thought were fireworks.

“After a while, we heard the police cars and we went outside,” Ramirez said. “But we only heard the shots. We didn’t see anything.”