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WESTMINSTER : Teen Found Guilty in ’93 Mall Shooting

A 19-year-old Santa Ana man was found guilty Monday of four counts of attempted murder for shooting and seriously wounding a 13-year-old girl last summer in front of terrified shoppers at the Westminster Mall.

Phong Thanh Dang, who was a student at La Quinta High School at the time of the July 8, 1993, shooting, sat without expression as a clerk announced the verdict of an Orange County Superior Court jury.

In addition to premeditated attempted murder, the jury found him guilty of street terrorism and of committing the crime as part of gang involvement.

Deputy Dist. Atty. David R. LaBahn said Dang had become angry at a group of girls, allegedly also gang members, that afternoon at the mall who, among other things, had been staring at him.

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“He got angry and went out to his car and got his gun and went back in the mall,” LaBahn said.

The prosecutor said Dang fired at least four shots from a second level of the mall into a group of youths standing below.

A 13-year-old girl was struck in the back, while another bullet passed through the pant leg of a 15-year-old girl.

The prosecution contended that two other girls also were in the line of fire.

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Dang testified he was innocent and someone else did the shooting. His lawyer, Thomas Avdeef, could not be reached for comment late Monday.


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