Loi Nguyen, a 76-year-old Vietnamese-born man, was killed by an unprovoked gunman while walking on the streets of Philadelphia.
Mr. Loi Nguyen on the morning of June 21 collapsed from a gunshot wound to the head in the alley behind L and Claridge Streets at Juniata Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while returning home from his morning walk. Investigators found a shell casing near the victim’s body.
Video from surveillance cameras shows the suspect wearing a red hooded sweatshirt running from behind Nguyen, suddenly pulling out a gun, shooting at him, and then running down the alley towards Hunting Park.
Mr. Nguyen is friendly with his neighbors and has been in the habit of taking morning walks around the neighborhood for many years.
“It all happened in the blink of an eye, no one expected,” said Tony Peralta, Nguyen’s neighbor. “Yesterday I also met him to play with my grandson, but the next day he collapsed on the ground. The perpetrator was so conscientious that he had the heart to kill an innocent man who was exercising.”
Scott Small, the Philadelphia police chief, called it a “tragic case”. “We do not know the motive of the crime, it is not clear whether it was robbery or not.”
Police say such crimes are rare in the area. Authorities did not disclose whether they were investigating the case as a hate crime against Asians.
Violence against Asian Americans has been widespread since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. From March 2020 to September 2021, more than 10,300 hate attacks targeting Asian Americans were reported to Stop Hate AAPI, a center for tracking information on racism.
Last May, President Joe Biden signed into law the Covid-19 Racism Hate Crime Act, aimed at combating a growing trend of attacks against people of Asian descent.
Hong Hanh (Theo Fox29)