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Man Kills Five, Wounds Two Before Killing Self

August 31, 1987

BOSTON (AP) _ A man whose shooting rampage killed six people, including himself and four relatives, and critically wounded two others was retaliating against family members who had accused him of stealing, a survivor says.

David Huynh, 25, said his 23-year-old cousin Minh Le brought a gun to the Huynh home in the Dorchester section Sunday afternoon to settle a dispute. Huynh said his family had turned Le in for stealing money from Huynh’s mother’s bank account.

″He came back for revenge,″ said Huynh, the only member of his family at home who escaped harm.

Tuan Tran, a Vietnamese interpreter called to the scene by police, said the gunman was a Vietnamese refugee who apparently had been accused of stealing the mother’s bank book four years ago and wanted to clear his reputation. The gunman pulled an automatic weaponfrom a sleeve of his trench coat and blasted away, authorities and witnesses said.

″Bullets were flying around our heads,″ said Juli Nichols, a paramedic who was among the first to arrive at the scene.

The gunman killed his 52-year-old uncle, 48-year-old aunt, two female cousins, ages 23 and 26, and a 24-year-old woman visiting the family, police spokeswoman Jane Sheehan said.

After a two-hour standoff with heavily armed police, the gunman fatally shot himself, said Deputy Police Superintendent Robert O’Toole. A 9mm gun was found next to his body, O’Toole said.

Police would not release the names of the victims, but Huynh said his parents and 26-year-old sister were killed in their house. He said the gunman shot four people on the street, all members of the family except Huynh’s 24- year-old girlfriend, who was slain.

The two people critically wounded were Huynh’s 3-year-old niece, Phuong Huynh and a 19-year-old man. A motorist braved the gunfire to grab the wounded child off a neighbor’s porch.

The 19-year-old was in critical but stable condition today at City Hospital, and 3-year-old Phuong Huynh was in critical but stable condition at New England Medical Center, hospital officials said.

The worst mass-killing in Boston in about 15 years overwhelmed some residents of the densely populated neighborhood.

Rick Coppola, a longtime resident who lives across the street from the house, said he and his wife are now thinking of moving.

″I have two daughters and I don’t want this for them,″ he said. ″Right after it happened, we talked about leaving. It takes something like this to make you realize what’s important.″

The motorist who rescued the girl said he thought about his own children, and knew he had to act.

″I was a little scared but to me that little girl’s life was worth a lot more than my life,″ said Joe Munroe, 27. ″I know I’m going to have bad nightmares about this.″

Ms. Nichols said Munroe jumped out of his tow truck during the gunfire to hand the girl to his sister, Donna, who in turn carried her to an ambulance.

DiWanna Salmons, 14, who lives across the street from the house, said she thought she heard firecrackers exploding when she saw the gunman, wearing a trench coat with a gun barrel protruding from a sleeve.

″He came running at me,″ the girl said while crying. ″He chased me into my yard, but he slipped on a piece of board. He shot at me, but nothing came out of the gun.″

Two other neighbors, Nancy Feeney and a registered nurse who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they rushed to aid the woman who was shot outside the house.

The woman ″had a lot of blood coming from her mouth and nose,″ the nurse said. ″I couldn’t tell if it was a head or chest wound.″

Feeney said the gunman fired several shots at the woman’s head after she had been felled by the first shot.

After the man rushed into the house, Feeney and the nurse said, they heard windows breaking and people yelling, ″Get back 3/8 Get back 3/8″ The man then fired more shots into the street, they said.

A police special operations squad, armed with rifles, surrounded the house and called for the translator to try to open a dialogue with the gunman, police said. Police and the gunman did not exchange fire.

A security guard in Dorchester killed seven members of his family about 15 years ago, police said.

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