From the Heart : Port Police Use Party to Help 2 Children Ease Pain of Tragedy


Los Angeles port police threw a Christmas party Thursday for a 13-year-old boy who is still recovering from injuries suffered in a shooting that killed his mother two years ago.

Nam Le and his 3-year-old sister, Christine, received a heap of presents, a holiday meal and surprise visits from Jermaine Jackson, former professional wrestler Tiny "Zeus" Lister Jr. and Santa Claus at the gathering at the harbor administration building.

On March 9, 1993, Edward Kyu Lee shot and killed Nam's mother, Sau Thi, Le in a San Pedro nail salon in a dispute over custody of another son. Lee also shot and wounded Nam, and later committed suicide.

Nam is still undergoing medical treatment for abdominal and intestinal pain and severe depression, said Port of Los Angeles spokeswoman Barbara Yamamoto.

Time-consuming treatments limit the ability of Thanh Nguyen, his father, to work and support his family, she said.

Sister Evelyne Joyce has become a friend of the family since the tragedy. "He's not fully recovered," she said of Nam. "He has his good times and bad times. It's been a long [two years] for them."

Police officers and harbor department employees chipped in for the meal and gifts for the family. "We wanted to do something special for them," said Lt. Ronald Boyd.

Port police "adopt" several victims of personal calamity each year for special gifts.

Jackson gave Nam a box full of music tapes, including his own, and posters of Jackson's siblings, Michael and Janet.

The quiet boy said he enjoyed meeting Jackson and chatting about wrestling with Lister.

Nam, who studies with a home-school teacher, said he likes to play video games and go to the park with his friends.

Someday, he said, he wants to become a doctor. "I like helping people," he said.

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